News Media Corp. announces promotions


Shank, Laye, Tompkins assume new leadership positions

ROCHELLE, Ill.— News Media Corporation owner and chairman John Tompkins recently announced several promotions within the organization.

Longtime publisher John Shank has been named the company’s new chief operating officer, Lori Laye has been named chief administrative officer and JJ Tompkins has been named chief revenue officer.

“I’m very pleased about this leadership team. Together they have decades of industry experience and are combining their strengths to provide great direction for NMC,” said John Tompkins, who owns more than 65 publications in eight states, including the Clinton Journal. 

Shank, who has worked his entire 31-year multimedia publishing career with NMC, is based in Rochelle, Illinois and will oversee the company’s entire operation, while continuing on in a dual role as Illinois group publisher. He replaces Nickolas Monico, who recently left NMC to pursue other industry opportunities.

Shank began his NMC career as a reporter and later served as editor of the Rochelle News-Leader, which has been the company’s flagship publication since 1975. From 1992 through 2009 he was the general manager of the Ogle County Life newspaper and also oversaw editorial staff operations during that time period. In 2009, he was promoted to Illinois group publisher covering six locations in the state.

During the past decade, Shank expanded his management role to serve as a division publisher by overseeing 11 additional operations in three other states, including California, Arizona and southwest Wyoming.

“I look forward to calling on my many years of field operations experience with the company to provide a unique perspective in guiding the corporation as a whole,” said Shank, who began his new duties on Friday, Oct. 25.

Shank is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and he and his wife, Maria, have three sons.

Laye, joined NMC in November 2018 as chief financial officer, and now she will also oversee additional administrative and human resource functions of the corporation.

For the past year Laye has implemented a plethora of measures to help centralize and streamline NMC operations in an effort to capitalize on company-wide efficiencies.

She has more than 20 years of financial expertise, including 17 years with media and publishing entities. She oversaw financial operations of more than 225 publications in 17 states during her tenure as a regional and division controller with Gatehouse Media, LLC prior to joining NMC.

Laye is a graduate of Rockford University obtaining her CPA in 2000. Prior to entering the media industry, she worked in public accounting for three years in audit and tax.  

She and her husband, Tony, reside in Cherry Valley, Illinois. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.

JJ Tompkins, who specializes in new revenue generation and promotions, will be leading efforts to develop both digital and print opportunities across all of the NMC operations.

He began his multimedia publishing career in 2001 after graduating with a business and marketing management degree from the University of Arizona.

After working in outside sales with the Illinois group publications, Tompkins relocated to Atascadero, California in 2002 to serve as general manager of that NMC publication and then returned to Illinois in 2006 to take on a company-wide marketing role.

In 2017, Tompkins teamed up with Shank on an initiative to improve operational efficiencies and increase cash flow in the Arizona and California properties.

He resides in Rockford with his wife, Lindsay, and their three daughters.

“I’m excited to join forces with Lori and JJ as we begin working together with our impressive and dedicated team of experienced managers and staff members at all of our locations throughout the company to move NMC forward,” Shank added.

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