Winston-Salem Journal publisher Kevin Kampman announces his retirement

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Kevin Kampman, publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal, will retire next week.
Kampman, 60, made the announcement in an email to staff Monday.


"I have been working in the publishing business for 37 years and it is time to spread my wings and try something different," Kampman wrote.

A successor has not been named but BH Media is looking to fill the position quickly, said Terry Kroeger, president and chief executive officer. Kroeger said he was already looking at some candidates from within the company and it would be a matter of "weeks, not months" before the position was filled.

Kampman's departure was not a cost-cutting measure or related to recent layoffs in the company, he said. Last month, BH Media eliminated 289 jobs, of which 108 were vacant. The Journal reduced its staff by 14.

Declining revenues have plagued newspapers nationwide as readers increasingly turn to digital platforms, which do not generate the same level of revenue as print editions.

Kampman said he's proud of the online readership growth the Journal has seen under his tenure. "Despite what everyone says, we serve a broader audience today than we have in a long time," he said.The number of readers on the Journal's website,www.Journalnow.com, is growing.

Kampman began his newspaper career working in circulation in Columbus, Ohio, and first moved in the publisher's office in 1996 at the McAlester News-Capital and Democrat in Oklahoma.

Kampman has spent the past five years of his career in newspapers with BH Media, joining the company in 2012 to assist with the acquisition of nine daily newspapers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama from Media General.
Once that process was completed, Kampman was made publisher of the Journal while continuing to serve as regional vice president of the Carolina group, which includes the Greensboro News & Record.

From the change in ownership, to the sale of the Journal's downtown building where it now leases space, and three different changes in newsroom leadership, Kampman has overseen a period of great change for the Journal.

Kampman was also involved in plans for the addition of a second printing press at the production facility on East Fifth Street.

BH Media Group plans to consolidate the printing of all its North Carolina papers in Winston-Salem. The project is expected to be completed by fall.

In addition to the Journal and the News & Record, BH Media publishes the Hickory Daily Record, the Statesville Record & Landmark, the McDowell News and the Morganton News Herald, as well as five weekly or semi-weekly papers. All of those publications will be printed in Winston-Salem when the expansion is complete.

Kampman promoted Andy Morrissey to lead the newsroom in August. In March, the Journal won the 2016 first-place General Excellence award from the N.C. Press Association, the top honor among the state's largest metro newspapers.

"Kevin is a publisher who cares about his community," Morrissey said. "He's active with several groups in Winston-Salem, and has always put the community first when we've had to make difficult editorial decisions.
"He will be missed by the staff at the Winston-Salem."

In addition to the Journal, Kampman oversaw the growth of Winston-Salem Monthly magazine and helped launch several new products, including Spark, a quarterly magazine dedicated to members of Generation X and baby boomers, and Carolina Weddings magazine.

Kampman and his wife, Deborah, have four children and one grandchild, born in November. Retirement will give Kampman a chance to spend more time with his new granddaughter, he said.

Kampman said he doesn't have any other immediate plans but he hopes to stay in Winston-Salem and would like to remain active in the community. Previously, Kampman served on the board of directors for both the United Way of Forsyth County and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, Inc. 

He currently serves on the boards of Bookmarks and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, as well as the board of the NC Press Association.