Publishing exec will concentrate on strengthening content and expanding newspaper’s digital presence

Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer of Real Times Media, has announced that Shari Noland has been hired as executive editor of its iconic Chicago Defender news brand as well as a content strategist for its parent company, Real Times Media. Noland brings an extensive background in digital media having designed, developed, and implemented content for various websites for government, magazines, e-commerce and non-profits.

“Newspapers are relevant today and for the future, but they need to change with the times to continue to grow and thrive,” stated Jackson. “Our number one goal at Real Times Media is to create more engaging digital content and live events. Shari, with her background in publishing and digital will help the Defender maximize the vision of broadening its digital presence, while at the same time continuing to provide engaging, credible, newsworthy and informative content for the Black community through the pages of the Defender.”

With 20 years of experience in the publishing world — including stints with publishing giant Meredith — Noland was previously chief content officer for Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI) where she was responsible for developing, designing and providing content strategy for UMI’s app and 10 websites. Noland also worked for iVillage as the lead editorial producer for GoodHousekeeping.com, as part of the company’s partnership with the Hearst magazine group.

“I am thrilled to be at the helm of an iconic brand like the Chicago Defender, a newspaper with an amazing history,” said Noland. “The leadership team has a dynamic vision that will give me an opportunity to elevate the content experience and digital landscape on a new level for our readers.”

Noland also has her credit degrees from top-notch journalism schools including a bachelor of journalism degree in journalism and advertising from the University of Missouri, and an M.S. in reporting and writing from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

The Chicago Defender is the oldest and most respected African-American newspaper in Chicago. Founded in 1905 by Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the Chicago Defender celebrated its 111th Anniversary in 2016. It was recognized nationally as the second most widely read and best African-American Newspaper by Nielson and Essence Survey 2014.

Headquartered in Detroit, Real Times Media is parent company to the nation’s largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation, including the Atlanta Daily World, the Chicago Defender, the Michigan Chronicle, and the New Pittsburgh Courier. In addition to its news brands, Real Times Media also offers custom programming and publishing in 20 markets across the United States through its Who’s Who brand, producing more than 50 events annually.

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