After 123 years of family-run leadership, Times-Shamrock Communications will consolidate its media companies and noncore businesses under a single, nonfamily leader, company officials told employees Monday morning.
The change comes as part of a long-term strategic plan, the three family CEOs Matthew E. Haggerty, George V. Lynett Jr. and Robert J. Lynett said during a meeting with the staff.
The three will transition leadership of Times-Shamrock over the next few months but will remain active in family governance of Times-Shamrock and Elk Lake Capital, the private equity investment arm of the Lynett/Haggerty family.
“This change to nonfamily leadership has been years in the making and is an important part of our strategic and succession planning processes,” said Scott Lynett, chairman of the Times-Shamrock Family Council. “Changes to our business and leadership models will fuel the growth and diversification of our company and enable us to be more agile in a highly dynamic business environment. Our family deeply appreciates the wonderful job that Bobby, Matthew and George Jr. have done leading our company.”
Jim Lewandowski, chief financial officer since 2014, will be promoted to CEO effective April 1, 2019, the company also announced Monday. He will oversee the media businesses that comprise Times-Shamrock Communications, including The Times-Tribune and Elk Lake Capital.
Don Farley, chief operating officer of Times-Shamrock Communications and a 35-year veteran of the company, will assume the new role of president of Times-Shamrock Communications, overseeing all media operations across the U.S. - print, radio, outdoor and digital.
“Jim has been an outstanding contributor to our company as CFO,” said Haggerty. “We believe Jim’s extensive experience in multiple industries, his strong working relationship with our current leadership team and his passion for our company, our family and our community make Jim an ideal candidate to lead our company.”
Lewandowski, 47, of Rice Twp., joined Times-Shamrock in 2014. He has led the company’s business and financial operations and is a key leader on the strategic planning team. Lewandowski also has been deeply involved in Elk Lake Capital, working with the teams at the Lynett/Haggerty families’ businesses Flying Fish Brewing Co. and Environmental Service Laboratories on all financial matters and long-range planning.
Before joining Times-Shamrock, Lewandowski served as CFO for leading companies in the health care, manufacturing and construction industries. He also spent eight years as part of a senior management team with a large family office managing a portfolio of investments. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and earned his certified public accountant certification while in public accounting.
“I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead Times-Shamrock and Elk Lake Capital,” said Lewandowski. “We have great opportunities across multiple industries both in the short and long term. Most importantly, we have an amazing team of dedicated and talented employees to carry out our mission of being indispensable to the people we serve.”
Farley, 58, of Waverly Twp., began his career as a sales representative with Times-Shamrock in 1984. He was promoted to sales manager seven months after joining the company and became general manager of four weekly publications in 1988. Farley was promoted to the publisher of Baltimore City Paper in 1988, and, in 1999, became group publisher when Times-Shamrock acquired alternative news weeklies in Detroit, Orlando, Florida, San Antonio and, in 2007, Cleveland.
“Don’s long track record of success in our print and digital operations make him the perfect choice to lead all our media operations,” said George Lynett Jr., “As president of all Times-Shamrock media platforms, Don will be uniquely positioned to ensure that we are the leading media company in every market we serve.”
Farley was promoted to the newly created position of regional general manager in 2011, and was tapped to become COO for Print and Digital in 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the California University of Pennsylvania.
Haggerty, Bobby Lynett and George Lynett Jr. plan to transition out of their roles over the next several months.
Haggerty and his wife, Chrissy, recently purchased two manufacturing companies in Lewisburg, and are very excited to become owner-operators.
“Times-Shamrock has provided me the opportunity to be part of a strong and vibrant company,” Matthew Haggerty said. “Any and all successes we have enjoyed over the past years are due to the dedication and commitment of our wonderful company leaders and employees.”
Bobby Lynett plans to get more involved in the local community and civic organizations and is exploring a number of professional opportunities.
“The past 21 years working for the Times-Shamrock family have been one of the most rewarding endeavors that I could ever imagine,” he said. “I am truly thankful for the opportunity to work with and for such wonderful people.”
George Lynett Jr. will continue to represent Times-Shamrock near term in leadership positions with regional and national industry groups, such as the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and the Independent Newspaper Group. He also is exploring a number of new business opportunities.
“Our media companies in northeast Pa. continue to be critical institutions reporting on the daily lives of our communities and serving our advertisers,” he said. “I am forever grateful to be a part of such a wonderful organization and look forward to its exciting next chapter.”
Added Bobby Lynett: “This is an exciting time for our company. Our family believes that there are great opportunities ahead in our core media businesses, as well as in the industries we have entered through Elk Lake Capital.”
Times-Shamrock Communications, a privately held company based in Scranton, includes these publications and businesses:
Publications: The Times-Tribune, Scranton; The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre; Standard-Speaker, Hazleton; Republican-Herald, Pottsville; Abington Suburban; Electric City; Good Times for Seniors; NEPA Business Journal; Pocono Times; Triboro Banner; Valley Advantage; Wyoming County Press Examiner; and Wyoming County Advance.
Radio stations: Alt 92.1; ESPN Radio; Rock 107; WZBA - Baltimore; B93.3 WLDB-FM -Milwaukee; FM 102/1 WLUM-FM - Milwaukee; 100.3 FM - Milwaukee; and 1290AM WZTI - Milwaukee’
Other operations include Absolute Distribution, Environmental Services, Laboratories Inc., of Indiana, Pa., Flying Fish Brewing Co., Somerdale, N.J., Times-Shamrock Commercial Printing, Times-Shamrock Creative Services, and Times-Shamrock Outdoor.
The Tunkhannock New Age and Nicholson Trail Examiner became part of the Lynett family’s holdings in 1977 when the papers were purchased from the Krewson family.
A couple of years later the publications were merged to create the New Age-Examiner. Under
a redesign in 2003 the
name of Wyoming County Press New Age-Examiner was adopted.