Jim Ferolie has been named regional executive editor of APG Media of Southern Wisconsin, effective Monday, Nov. 15. The position was most recently staffed by Sid Schwartz, who retired in April.
A native of Rockford, Ill., Ferolie comes to APG after spending more than half his career leading news teams in small community papers in the Madison suburbs under both Woodward Communications Inc. and O’Rourke Media Group. A self-proclaimed word-efficiency expert and leadership nerd, Ferolie is at heart a teacher, a skill garnered from his father, who was an elementary school teacher.
In his new role at Adams, Ferolie will oversee a collection of products that includes four five-day-a-week papers, two three-day papers, nine weeklies, 20-plus websites, 38 newsletters and 200-plus special sections. This role will be instrumental in determining the next iteration of content creation and subscriber engagement for both the printed and digital products across southcentral Wisconsin.
Ferolie plans to work with reporters and editors on multiple levels, enhancing their skills in writing, editing, and digital and social media awareness while creating a culture of collaboration and teamwork.
“It’s a big job, and I can’t wait to dig in,” Ferolie said. “The journalism industry is under a tremendous amount of pressure to continue to enhance how we connect with readers in print and online. My goal is to make this evolution as seamless and painless as possible for our news teams and readers.”
The 1994 University of Arizona graduate spent 13 years in Tucson, Arizona, before getting his first full-time job in the journalism industry, in Oregon. After two years as a sports reporter there and five years as a sports copy editor for the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, Ferolie moved to the news side in 2005 as editor of the Macomb (Illinois) Eagle. In 2006, he relocated to Verona to take charge of the Verona Press.
In 2010, he became team leader for Unified Newspaper Group, which also included the Oregon Observer, Stoughton Courier Hub and three weeklies, plus the Fitchburg Star website, a product he would help return to print as a monthly.
He proudly led his team to more than 18 awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association each year, dominating categories such as photography, local government and education coverage. His teams also consistently produced fresh, young talent, placing four straight years in the WNA Rookie Reporter of the Year category and seeing alumni land jobs in larger newsrooms around the state.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Ferolie added leading the UNG sales team to his duties and later became general manager, enhancing his experience across non-news fronts. In July 2021, O’Rourke Media purchased the UNG properties from Woodward Communications and put Ferolie back in charge of the news team there while rebuilding a struggling newsroom in Vermont.
“Our goal is to connect the energy and experience of our extensive newsroom talent under the guidance of an action-oriented leader who is as much a student of leadership as he is an operator and use this collaboration as a keystone element in our growth,” said Orestes Baez, regional president for APG Media of Southern Wisconsin. “Jim is a doer and has executed the jobs he is overseeing. We are incredibly excited for the opportunity to have Jim join our Adams and Wisconsin team.”
Ferolie lives in Verona with his wife, Shari, and his son Parker. They are building their dream home on the south side of Verona.