Jody Jalbert named editor of the Sun Journal

LEWISTON — The Sun Journal has a new captain at the helm.

Jody Jalbert, a 34-year veteran of the Lewiston newspaper, has been promoted to editor.

The move was announced on Friday and puts Jalbert in charge of the Sun Journal and the Western Maine Weeklies.

Jody Jalbert, publisher of Sun Media Group. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The promotion is particularly impressive given that Jalbert began his career more than three decades ago taking classified ads over the phone.

It was May 1988 and it was only a part-time gig. But over the next three decades, Jalbert rose through the ranks of the newspaper’s advertising department, eventually becoming its vice president for advertising in 2018.

In 2019, Jalbert was named vice president and general manager of Sun Media Group and vice president of sales for Masthead Maine, the group that owns the Sun Journal.

She has spent her entire career at the Lewiston newspaper, working primarily in the downtown office of the Sun Journal. Jalbert’s face is familiar to anyone who has worked for the newspaper at all levels over the past three decades.

It is an important factor.

“The Sun Journal deserves to have a local editor,” said Lisa DeSisto, CEO of Masthead Maine, “and there’s no one better suited for the role.”

Her colleagues, from the press team to press staff to those in leadership positions, tend to agree.

“Jody loves Lewiston and she loves the Sun Journal,” said Judith Meyer, editor of the Sun Journal and other newspapers. “Having him at the helm is good for our city and for our newspaper. She knows our readers very well, she knows our business and her support for our journalism is unwavering.

“If you’ve worked directly with Jody,” DeSisto said, “you know she’s smart, strategic, caring, and focused on positive results. Jody’s 34 years with Sun Media Group will stand her in good stead because she draws on her experience and deep roots in the community to lead SMG into the future.

What Jalbert brings to the role of editor is an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of the newspaper industry. She has these talents primarily because she has paid attention to all facets of the business over her long career.

“I was fortunate to be surrounded by mentors and colleagues who nurtured my curiosity and allowed me to transition, learn and grow throughout my career,” Jalbert said. “I thought it was important to know and understand the process – the details of the transfer from each department to the next, from the person meeting an advertiser, the design, the print layout, the pagination, the plating, printing, distribution and transportation to ensure advertisers and readers get the best possible product so they continue to support our newsroom mission.

Jalbert has named several of his former mentors, and they include people from virtually every Sun Journal department. Editors, advertising managers, press supervisors. … Jalbert said she’s learned something from everyone she’s worked with over the course of her career.

“It’s the people who make the papers,” she says, “and there’s no doubt that we have THE BEST employees — everyone is there to support our mission.

“I am truly humbled and honoured,” Jalbert said, “to have the opportunity to leverage the local strength and character of the Sun Journal and Western Maine Weekly newspaper brands and guide them into the future.”

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