Easton, Pa.–The Express-Times editor Joseph P. Owens is leaving his position after 17 years to become interim general manager of South Jersey Media Group. In his new role, Owens will oversee the South Jersey media company’s operations at the three daily newspapers in Salem, Bridgeton and Woodbury, plus a weekly in Washington Township, Gloucester County as well as their affiliated website nj.com.
The appointment of Owens occurred the same day Frank Gargano announced his retirement as publisher of South Jersey Media Group effective the end of March. Gargano has worked at the media company for 36 years, the last 11 as publisher.
Owens began his newspaper career as a copy boy at the now-defunct Bulletin in Philadelphia, his hometown newspaper. He spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at The Times Herald in Norristown, Pa. He joined The Express-Times as managing editor in 1995 and became editor six years later.
Replacing Owens will be Jim Deegan, who has been named editor/vice president of content for Lehigh Valley Media Group.
Deegan joined The Express-Times in 1996 as regional editor and left to become Reading Eagle news editor in 2000 before returning and being named Express-Times managing editor the following year. He began his newspaper career as a police and city hall reporter at The (Norristown) Times Herald and then worked as a reporter for the Reading Eagle.