Kathy Malm, a longtime newspaper advertising salesperson, one-time chamber executive and central Kansas rancher, has been named regional general manager for GateHouse Media newspapers in Hutchinson, Salina and Hays.
Senior group publisher Stephen Wade made the announcement Monday.
Malm began her career in newspapers with The Salina Journal in 1999. She worked there until she was named executive director for the Lindsborg Chamber of Commerce in 2001. She returned to The Journal in 2006 as a marketing consultant and subsequently held roles there as digital sales manager, sales team leader and advertising sales manager.
Gatehouse promoted Malm to advertising director at The Topeka Capital-Journal about nine months ago, where she worked directly with Wade.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to be able to work with all three communities,” Malm said. “Being from the area and having the opportunity to have been in all those communities, I know how important the local newspaper is to the community. I’ve been able to travel around to see the other papers and I’m excited to share things we can do together. It’s important to have our properties act as a team.
“Newspapers have changed a lot in the last 20 years, and they’ll continue to change. It’s important to explore things and find ways to be more efficient and to better serve the company and communities.”
Malm said she expects to spend a couple of days a week each in Hutchinson and Salina and travel to Hays every other week.
In introducing Malm, Wade noted she was hired and worked with the Harris Group newspapers before GateHouse purchased them.
“She gets the history, she gets the culture, and that was important to me in making this move,” Wade said. “Kathy may have worked in Topeka the last nine months, but she never left her home in Lindsborg. She’s also a rancher, and she gets that side of it, how important agriculture is to our market.”
Having worked at the chamber and in commercial sales, Malm understands the importance of tourism in Kansas, but also recognizes the differences between the three communities, Wade said.
“It’s important for us to get a leader in place who gets that,” he said.
M. Olaf Frandsen, the former group publisher at Salina who retired a year ago, called Malm “one of the sharpest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”
“That’s not a small compliment given that when I retired, I had 40 years of newspaper experience, 15 years as an editor and 25 as a publisher and regional vice president,” Frandsen said. “There were lots of people I worked with in my career in newspapers, and I’d count Kathy as certainly one of the best.
“Kathy is tremendously experienced, tremendously community-oriented."
Asked what set her apart, Frandsen responded: “Her drive, her intensity on serving the customers of newspapers and ensuring any newspaper she works on is relevant to the community, not just the customers of the newspaper but the community at large.”
“She’s a business person, but her breadth and dedication of experience go beyond just managing a business, to managing a business to the benefit of the community,” he said.
Malm and her husband, Harper, live on a farm outside Lindsborg where they run a cow-calf operation, raising Hereford and Angus cross cattle. They have three children, Erica, Heather and Brent, and five grandchildren. In her free time, Malm enjoys playing pool and spending time in the pasture, she said.