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The Log Cabin Democrat invited the public to meet the new publisher of the newspaper, Zach Ahrens, during its Business After Hours event on Thursday at the office of the LCD.
Ahrens, 33, graduated from York College in York, Neb., in 2000 and began his newspaper career selling and designing print advertising at a 6,000 circulation daily in York.
At the age of 22, he was named publisher of a weekly newspaper, the South Sioux City Star, in Nebraska. In 2006, Ahrens joined Lee Enterprises as an advertising director for a Nebraska daily newspaper. And in 2008, he became the advertising and digital media director at the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota, owned by Forum Communications Co. Under Ahrens’ leadership the Grand Forks Herald became the company leader in realizing more than 20 percent of its total revenue from digital advertising.
Ahrens also has been an entrepreneur and actively involved in communities where he has lived.
He has owned a Subway franchise and rental properties. He was one of the youngest people ever elected to a Nebraska school board and has served as a live presenter and webinar trainer for local and regional media organizations and companies.
He was interviewed as part of a national project focused on the value of local newspapers called “Who Needs Newspapers” and has been published in several industry publications.
He reports to Les Simpson, regional publisher for Morris Publishing Group, LLC, and publisher of the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News. The parent company is based in Augusta, Ga.
Ahrens is a native of Columbus, Neb., and has been married to his wife, Heidi, for 13 years. They have three children: Carter, 9; Conner 7 and Camrynn, 5.
“I’m proud of our industry and what we do every day,” Ahrens said. “We connect with more people more often on more platforms than ever before. It’s thrilling to be a part of something with such a rich history and bright future.”
Ahrens has been on the job since Jan. 31.