Ralph J. Martin
Ralph J. Martin joined Civitas Media as CEO on Jan. 27, 2015.
Martin previously served as president and CEO of Trib Total Media, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He started in 2003 as general manager of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. During his tenure, Trib Total Media has grown into a regional news and information operation serving southwestern Pennsylvania with daily and weekly newspapers, Pennysaver weekly shoppers, specialty magazines and numerous websites.
Martin began his newspaper career in 1976 with Thomson Newspapers where he became president and chief operation officer in 1992.
In 1995, Martin took on a leadership position in an investment group's acquisition of Park Communications, a multi-media company. As senior vice president, Martin played a key role in the company's quick revenue and profit growth. Then, in just two short years, Martin orchestrated the sale of the company, which netted the investors significant returns.
In 1997 Martin founded Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI) becoming the company's president and chief executive officer.
Martin holds several leadership positions in the newspaper industry and in greater Pittsburgh. He is past president of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Chapter and is chairman of the Board for Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. Martin is also a Trustee of Robert Morris University.
Martin has six children. He and his wife, Sharon, will soon be relocating to Davidson, North Carolina, home to Civitas Media headquarters.
Senior Vice President of Finance & Administrationwlafferty@civitasmedia.com
Walt Lafferty is a senior executive with over thirty year’s business experience in the newspaper information and media industry. His leadership roles include positions as President, Publisher, Group Publisher, General Manager, Operations Manager, Regional Controller, Controller, Business Manager and Systems Coordinator with industry leaders including Civitas Media, GateHouse Media, the Gannett Company, the Goodson Newspaper Group and Ingersoll Publications.
Walt was born in Philadelphia, PA, the youngest of six children, is married to Cindy for the past twenty five years and has two children, Patrick (23) and Sara (21). Patrick is a graduate of Penn State University and now works for Microsoft in Reston, VA. and Sara is currently attending Penn State University’s main campus in State College, PA.
Walt started his newspaper career in the suburbs of Philadelphia working at the Delaware County Daily Times and is an avid sports fan of all Philly sports teams.
As Publisher of a number of newspaper operations, Walt has directed all facets of the business including finance, HR, IT, sales & marketing, circulation, content gathering, production, distribution and employee relations.
In prior positions, Walt’s financial and project management background included the development and implementation of new budget controls and financial reporting standards along with upgrading business and production systems for over 30 business units.
Walt has served on a number of community and business organization boards of director positions including local chamber of commerce, United Way and the Salvation Army. Walt served for 10 years as a board member, treasurer, Vice President and executive committee member of the New Jersey Press Association. He has served on the Illinois Press Association Government Affairs Committee, Board Trustee for Downtown Springfield Inc. and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Strategic Planning Committee. Most recently he has served on the board of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and the board of the Diamond City Partnership in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Randall S. Brant
Senior Vice President Sales & Marketingrbrant@civitasmedia.com
Randall Brant joined Civitas Media in September 2014. During his 20-plus years in publishing, Brant has held leadership positions in print, digital and niche publishing with top newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, Detroit News and Free Press, Denver Post, Salt Lake Tribune and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has also worked extensively with community newspapers, local magazines and niche publications. He has served in sales and marketing management roles with media companies such as Hearst, Belo, MediaNews Group and Gannett. Randall holds a BA in Journalism from IUP and an MBA from Purdue University.
Vice President of Circulationmmurray@civitasmedia.com
Mike Murray joined Civitas Media in August 2014. Formerly Vice President of Consumer Services for American Consolidated Media, Murray has over 45 years in executive management roles with such media companies as Paddock Publications, Thomson Newspapers, Des Moines Register & Tribune Company, Press Publications and Journal Register Company where he served as senior vice president. In addition to his role as a newspaper and magazine publisher, Murray also was president of DFM Associates, Inc., a suburban Philadelphia advertising agency and was Managing Director for a private consulting firm specializing in cost analysis and management restructuring. He has been instrumental in developing and leading consumer related services and has been nationally recognized for his work in the circulation industry. He’s also been a member of both industry and non-industry related boards and has been a featured speaker on newspaper operations.
April Y. Cunningham, PHR
Vice President of Human Resourcesacunningham@civitasmedia.com
April Y. Cunningham, PHR, vice president of human resources, joined Civitas Media, LLC in March 2013. Cunningham has spent more than 17 years in human resources serving in varied roles in the Legal, Mortgage, Banking and Telecommunications industries. Her areas of expertise include recruitment/staffing, benefits, classification and compensation, learning and development, employee relations, payroll, leadership development and risk mitigation. April attended Slippery Rock University where she earned a bachelor's degree in Safety Engineering/Industrial Hygiene. She also is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Society of Human Resources Management.
Vice President of Editorialjlawitz@civitasmedia.com
Jim Lawitz joins Civitas Media as the vice president of editorial, overseeing editorial operations for the company. Lawitz has spent more than 30 years in newsrooms serving in varied roles – from reporting and editing to top news executive. Jim's most recent role was vice president and editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico's second largest publication. In addition to his local duties, he supervised top editors in sister markets including Silver City, Deming, Alamogordo and Ruidoso. Lawitz has spent most of his life in the West, living and working in Arizona, Alaska, California and New Mexico. He has worked for Cox, Tribune, Scripps, MediaNews and independent publishing companies. Raised in Scottsdale, Jim attended Arizona State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in broadcasting with an emphasis in journalism. Lawitz worked in radio/television before making the jump to newspapers in the mid-1980s.
Vice President Manufacturingglawrence@civitasmedia.com
Gary Lawrence, director of manufacturing, joined Civitas Media when it was established in 2012. Formerly chief operating officer of Heartland Publications, Lawrence is a 38-year veteran of the newspaper industry. He has served as group publisher, corporate regional vice president, publisher and various advertising and circulation management positions with several newspaper companies including the Journal Register, Morris, McClatchy, and Scripps. A native of Hartselle, Alabama, Lawrence attended the University of Alabama, and graduated with a degree in Business from Roger Williams University. He completed postgraduate work with a paralegal certification from Roger Williams University and studied masters level subjects in Mass Communications at Middle Tennessee State University.
Andrew Mok, chief information officer, joined Civitas Media, LLC in November 2012 (as a consultant). He was named the Chief Systems Officer in July 2013. Formerly president of Midwest Technology Consulting, Mok has over 20 years of media experience in various capacities with privately owned newspapers Shaw & Media News, as well as public companies including: Lee, Gannett & Knight Ridder. Mok, was born in Derby, England, immigrated to and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago Illinois. He attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a BS in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ.