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Shaw Media names first non-family president

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 3, 2013 9:21 a.m. CDT

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CHICAGO – Northwest Herald Publisher John Rung was named president of Shaw Media and elected to its Board of Directors Thursday at the company’s annual meeting.

Rung, 50, previously was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Shaw Media. He will continue to serve as publisher of the Northwest Herald, Shaw’s flagship publication in Crystal Lake.

The appointment of Rung to be the first person from outside the family to serve as president of Shaw Media is an important milestone, said Tom Shaw, CEO of Shaw Media.

“John has demonstrated the ability to thrive in a highly successful, professionally managed, family-company environment. We believe that our unique business and family legacy will be in capable hands,” Shaw said.

Rung has been with the company 16 years and has served in a variety of management roles. He is one of just two publishers in the 28-year history of the Northwest Herald. Rung replaced Northwest Herald founding publisher Bob Shaw in 2002 upon Shaw’s retirement.

In 2005, Rung became group vice president of Shaw’s suburban operation. Under Rung’s leadership, Shaw Media’s suburban group of newspapers, magazines, web sites and other media publications more than doubled in size.

The company acquired Grayslake-based Lake County Journal in 2005, DeKalb-based Daily Chronicle in 2007, and Downers Grove-based Suburban Life Media in 2012. It also launched a series of hyperlocal entertainment and shopping web sites beginning with PlanitNorthwest.com in 2009.

Rung also serves on the board of the McHenry County Economic Development Corp., and has served on the boards of the United Way of McHenry County, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the MCC Foundation and the McHenry Chamber of Commerce.

As president, Rung will be the principal operating officer of the company, responsible for all of its operating activities, including revenue growth, strategic development and financial-goal management.

Shaw, 65, has been with the company 43 years, and is a fifth-generation member of the family that has continued to own and operate Shaw Media 162 years after its founding in 1851. Shaw was elected president and CEO in 1993, and will continue as CEO in the role of the corporation’s principal executive officer, supervising its business and affairs.

“I am excited to take on this responsibility and I thank Tom Shaw and our Board of Directors for their faith in our leadership team,” Rung said. “Shaw Media has a storied past and an exciting future. We have a talented team of people who are committed to growth through excellence. Shaw’s proud legacy will continue.” 

Rung resides with his wife and three children in Johnsburg, where he also coaches a team in the Johnsburg Pigtail softball league. Shaw resides in Dixon with his wife and the youngest of their six children.

Shaw Media publishes 80 print and online titles in Illinois and Iowa.

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