Jim Whittum, publisher of the Opelika-Auburn News since May 1, has left the newspaper, effective Wednesday.
“I have enjoyed my short time at the Opelika-Auburn News immensely,” Whittum said. “The staff of the Opelika-Auburn News has been everything a publisher could hope for – hard working, dedicated and professional.”
Alabama Group Regional Publisher Alan Davis announced Wednesday that Wynn Christian, vice president of digital media for community newspapers of World Media Enterprises, would assume the duties of interim publisher.
Christian, a 1998 Auburn University graduate, began his career at the Opelika-Auburn News in 2001, where he worked as a sales representative before taking the role of advertising director through 2005.
“Our focus will be to continue to deliver high quality news and information to our readers through print and digital platforms, and to deliver effective, innovative marketing solutions for our advertising clients,” he said.
“I want to make sure that the Opelika-Auburn News, oanow.com and all of our products are in great shape through this transition. We expect to continue to grow in lockstep with the communities we serve.”
“Digital media is an area that our readers have embraced over the years, and it’s a key area that we will focus on improving in the interim.”
Whittum succeeded Jim Rainey, who was publisher of the Opelika-Auburn News from 2003 until 2012. Rainey was recently named publisher of the Tuscaloosa News.
Whittum is a veteran newspaperman with 39 years of experience. Before taking the helm at the Opelika-Auburn News, Whittum was publisher of the Dothan Eagle and Enterprise Ledger from 2001 until 2012. He came to Alabama in 2001 from Baton Rouge, La., where he worked in a variety of capacities for the Baton Rouge Advocate.
“It is truly a bittersweet occasion as my wife and I look forward to retirement in the mountains of northeast Georgia while at the same leaving friends and co-workers that we’ve come to know and respect, both in Opelika-Auburn and Dothan,” he said.