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Albany Herald structural, personnel changes announced

ALBANY, Ga. — The Albany Herald this morning announced changes to several top personnel positions at the newspaper as a part of a restructuring of the news operations of its parent company, Southern Community Newspapers Inc.

The changes have been made to adapt The Albany Herald and www.albanyherald.com to a business model that better facilitates the delivery of news and advertising content through print and digital media.

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General Sales Manager Ken Boler

"Today I am announcing a restructuring of SCNI that throws out the legacy organizational chart newspapers have employed for years and replacing it with a streamlined business structure," said Michael J. Gebhart, executive vice president and chief operating officer of SCNI.

"The new organizational chart breaks down the geographical walls of seven different newspapers and opens our company to more opportunity to collaborate and share resources across all properties," he said.

Rather than operate as separate newspapers, Gebhart said, the lines of organization will be drawn by departments such as newsroom, advertising, circulation, production and business.

"The Albany Herald has been the leader in providing local news in southwest Georgia for over 120 years," said Gebhart. "Even though we're changing our internal organizational structure, our core values remain strong and stable. We intend to continue to provide our valued readers and advertisers the best journalism in the Good Life City."

As a result of the changes, the positions of publisher and advertising director have been eliminated at the seven newspapers owned by SCNI.

Ken Boler will become general sales manager of The Herald, which places him in charge of both retail and classified advertising in the newspaper and digitally at www.albanyherald.com.

John Hetzler, who joined the newspaper in January 2010 as general manager, had served as publisher since his February 2012 promotion. Scott Brooks had served as director of sales and marketing since April 2012.

Under the restructuring, The Herald's news department will continue to be headed up by Editor Jim Hendricks and Managing Editor Danny Carter. Hendricks will report to J.K. Murphy, of Lawrenceville, who is vice president of content for SCNI.

Cheryl Frakes will continue to serve as the Herald's business manager, and Bill Strickland will continue as director of I.T. at The Herald.

Boler, 51, is a native of Augusta. He and his wife, Tammy, have two daughters. He served in the U.S. Air Force where he participated in "Operation Just Cause" to oust Manuel Noriega from Panama and served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He is a member of the Disabled Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the 100 Black Men of America mentoring program.

After his military career, Boler joined Florida Today/Gannett in advertising and was soon named Gannett's Manager of the Year. He subsequently served in management positions with The Biloxi Sun Herald in Mississippi, The Citizen Times in Ashfield, N.C., and the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News.

Boler joined SCNI in 2011 as classified advertising director for the company's Rockdale and Newton newspapers in metro Atlanta.

"I love the South." said Boler, "Hunting, horseback riding and fishing are my passions. I'm really looking forward to plugging into Albany and Southwest Georgia. ... It was an easy decision to relocate."