Lee Enterprises, owner of the Opelika-Auburn News and other newspapers in the state, on Friday named Auburn University graduate and longtime local resident Wynn Christian as president and director of local sales and marketing for the company’s Alabama region.

Christian’s appointment is effective immediately, and he will continue to be based in the Opelika-Auburn market.

Lee’s Alabama region includes the Dothan Eagle, Enterprise Ledger, Eufaula Tribune and the Jackson County Floridan in Marianna, Fla.

Christian takes over the leadership position formerly held by Steve Smith, who has left the company.

“Wynn is a talented leader with broad experience in digital marketing solutions,” said Lee Enterprises Group Publisher Bill Masterson. “He’s shown great commitment to the region and passion for its success.”

Most recently, Christian served as director of revenue transformation for the company. He joined the former BH Media Group in 2012 as director of digital for its Southern group of publications, and served as BHMG’s director of digital sales from 2014 to 2018.

His career also includes director of digital advertising for the Omaha World Herald.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead these talented individuals as we transform our sales and marketing departments,” Christian said. “Alabama has been my home all of my life, and I look forward to being part of this new success.”

Christian is a Dothan native and the son of John and June Christian, both retired schoolteachers. He graduated from Auburn University in 1998. He and his wife, Virginia, have three children.

Opelika-Auburn News Editor Troy Turner, a Tallapoosa County native, also is an Auburn University graduate who has served the newspaper since 2015, and before that when he began his career as a reporter from 1985-88. He praised the decision by Lee to promote Christian.

“I’m very excited to see Wynn get this leadership position for our region, and most certainly for our own market because he knows it so well,” Turner said. “Wynn is a great guy, he’s an Auburn man, he loves Opelika and Lee County, and he’s a guy who a lot of folks here already know, and others will enjoy getting to know him.”

Lee Enterprises is primarily in midsize markets, with 75 daily newspapers and a joint interest in two others, along with rapidly growing digital products and nearly 350 specialty publications in 26 states.

Lee’s digital sites attract more than 44 million unique visits monthly, and its newspapers have a combined circulation of more than 1.2 million daily.

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