CARBONDALE — The Southern Illinoisan parent company Lee Enterprises Inc. announced Monday that Donna Denson has been selected as president and director of local sales and marketing of The Southern Illinoisan.
Her appointment is effective immediately. She previously was advertising director at the Southeast Missourian newspaper. Denson succeeds publisher Terra Kerkemeyer, who has left the company.
“Donna brings high energy, a strong positive outlook and a wealth of leadership experience to this new role,” Lee Group Publisher Chris White said in a Monday news release. “She’s spent a great deal of her career in markets much like Carbondale, and I’m confident she’ll quickly connect to this great community.”
Denson joined the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1991 as an account executive and progressed through multiple leadership positions before becoming advertising director in 2002. She was named advertising manager for the Sun Coast Media Group Inc. in Venice, Florida, in 2005 before returning to the Southeast Missourian in 2009.
Denson said she has great passion for helping local businesses succeed and grow. With both the print and online products, she says The Southern Illinoisan has solutions to help businesses.
“I see local businesses as neighbors. I want to see them be successful,” Denson said. “I am really excited to be in this market and help local businesses thrive.”
She added that The Southern’s core product is really important to her, too. “Nothing replaces good local community journalism. Nobody in the area does it better (than The Southern),” she said.
Giving back to the community also is important to Denson. She was involved in civic and charitable organizations in Southeast Missouri, and she said she looks forward to connecting to similar organizations in Southern Illinois.
“Any places I can get plugged into and make a difference, I get real excited about that,” she said.
Denson is a 1989 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, holding a Bachelor of Science in mass communications. While a student, she was a reporter for the college’s newspaper.
Denson plans to relocate to the Carbondale area. She grew up in Festus, Missouri.
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