Rusty Williamson says it’s a great time to take over as advertising director at the Forsyth County News.
“I would rather be working for the Forsyth County News than the New York Times right now,” Williamson said. “Because the state of the economy lends itself to a community newspaper being more attractive to local businesses marketing their products, rather than a large metro paper.”
As the paper's new advertising director, Williamson will oversee day-to-day operations of the department, including interacting with sales staff, customers and other company directors.
Williamson’s 20 years in newspaper advertising sales and management has taken him from the Durham Herald-Sun in 1987 to the Raleigh News & Observer to the Gwinnett Daily Post, where he worked most recently.
“Rusty will be a tremendous asset to our newspaper,” said Forsyth County News Publisher John Hall. “He has a solid background in both print and online, but more importantly, strength in the professional development of sales and marketing staffs.
"We went through an extensive search process to fill this important position. Rusty was an excellent find for our newspaper.”
Given the recession, Williamson said many businesses might be reluctant to invest in advertising. His strategy is to “present to advertisers the value of marketing themselves in a community newspaper.”
“There’s no question that in the newspaper business, community papers are going to continue to hold their niche,” he said.
With the approaching sixth-month anniversary of the newspaper’s Web site, www.forsythnews.com, Williamson said he is excited to meet the challenge of advertising in a new medium.
“We will continue the print focus, but the convergence of Web and print is something that’s happening at warp speed,” he said. “So I think it’s going to require an additional focus on Web in order to stay competitive with other media outlets.”
A North Carolina native, Williamson has been married to his wife, Patti, for 26 years. The couple has two children, 22-year-old Andrew and 17-year-old Amber.
Williamson said he is excited about his new position.
“It’s a quality community newspaper,” he said. “It’s truly a joy to become part of the Forsyth County News family.”