The newly expanded Northstar Media and Kanabec Publications – publishing company of the Isanti-Chisago County Star – has a new leader.
Jeff Andres, of Cambridge, is the new group publisher overseeing seven newspapers, two shoppers, a monthly magazine, digital and social media sites, events and niche publishing.
“We are excited to welcome Jeff to the company,” said company CEO Matt McMillan. “He has years of media management experience right in this region and has already met most of the employees and several customers. Since Tim Franklin sold his community print and digital publications June 1 to Northstar Media and Kanabec Publications, we’ve been scouting for a person to lead the expanded group. We are fortunate to find a publisher who has both the experience and servant leadership skills to fit our communities and employees.”
“I am very excited and fortunate to be back in the newspaper industry,” Andres said, “an industry that is very familiar and dear to me. Everyone here has been very welcoming to me. I already feel part of the family.”
Northstar Media is owned by Gene and Carter Johnson of White Bear Lake. The company includes three publishing groups – the newly expanded Northstar Media and Kanabec Publications based in Cambridge, Minn., Press Publications based in White Bear Lake, Minn., and Sentinel Publishing based in Amery, Wis.
The Northstar Media and Kanabec Publications group previously included the Isanti-Chisago County Star in Cambridge, Kanabec County Times in Mora, Pine City Pioneer and Advertiser print and digital publications, as well as a central printing plant in Cambridge and commercial printing facility in Mora.
The purchase of Tim Franklin’s titles added the Hinckley News, Pine County Courier in Sandstone, Askov American, Star-Gazette in Moose Lake, The Evergreen, Minnesota Flyer magazine and related digital and social sites.
“Tim built an award-winning publishing business in neighboring towns and printed with us for the past 10 years,” McMillan said. “After he sold his family company to the Johnson family June 1, Tim agreed to stay this summer during our publisher search. Now he’s officially passed the publisher baton to Jeff before moving to his new home in South Dakota.”
Andres and his wife, Christine, moved to Cambridge 27 years ago and raised three sons, now grown.
“We enjoy the area,” he said, “and the activities available here – biking, kayaking down the Rum and much more. We also enjoy traveling to waterfalls that are in the middle of nowhere to enjoy the serenity of nature.”
Andres will spend time in his Cambridge office each week and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Tim built a strong team of community news people,” McMillan added. “The Northstar and Kanabec teams are also community-focused. Finding Andres to oversee the combined group adds another level of experience and leadership.”
Previous company CEO Wade Weber filled in as group publisher during the search. He’ll return to his role serving the company as senior strategic advisor.