Tim O’Rourke hired as Connect’s new publisher

By DAWN BOOTH, Connect Weekly

Tim O'Rourke hired as new publisher for Connect Weekly. SUPPLIED PHOTO.

Tim O’Rourke hired as new publisher for Connect Weekly. SUPPLIED PHOTO.

Star News Inc. has hired former publisher of the Fort McMurray Today, Tim O’Rourke to take on the reigns of Connect Weekly newspaper.

Since 1987, O’Rourke has been working in the media industry throughout Western Canada. Starting off as an advertising representative in Penticton, B.C., then working as publisher and sales manager at Camrose Canadian in Camrose, A.B. from 1990 to 1992.

It was in 1992 when O’Rourke first moved to Fort McMurray and worked as publisher at the Fort McMurray Today, until 2009.

His decision to leave the media business was due to downsizing by the Today’s parent company Quebecor Media. An opportunity arose on Vancouver Island – a year earlier – for his wife Barb to purchase a flower and gift shop, so he joined her there.

“My wife had been living on Vancouver Island since 2008, after she decided to purchase the shop. However, the economy never really recovered from the recession,” O’Rourke shared. “We closed the store in 2012 and headed back to Fort McMurray, since we still had many close friends and business associates living here.”

Most recently working in the social profit sector as the manager of communications and fund development at the Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society – now tagged as Waypoints, O’Rourke explains how moving back into the world of the Wood Buffalo region media industry is “enticing”, and shares how the community – like all communities – need a strong publication to stay informed and help get the message out, in news stories and advertising.

“The challenge and opportunity to steer a newspaper that has a lot of potential, both editorially and advertising wise was enticing,” O’Rourke said.

“The challenge and opportunity to steer a newspaper that has a lot of potential, both editorially and advertising wise was enticing,” O’Rourke said. “I also like the fact that the Connect is not part of a large conglomerate newspaper company, like my past newspaper life. When I first began my career, I actually knew the owner and he knew my name. The Connect staff and contributors are localized and community-focused on all levels.”

O’Rourke shared how even though he put his “publishing” career aside for a short-period of time, he stayed up-to-date with current events and community happenings. Going forward as publisher and sales manager of Connect, he knows the importance of providing credible and informative weekly content to the residents living in the region.

“I took a sabbatical away from the media industry, but I still always kept abreast of the goings in Fort McMurray, and our region. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong need and place for a community newspaper,” he said.

“I took a sabbatical away from the media industry, but I still always kept abreast of the goings in Fort McMurray, and our region. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong need and place for a community newspaper,” he said.

“Our team of staff and contributors are local residents dedicated to seek-out and share the stories of our community, our businesses and our industries. In times of information overload, unlimited choice and uncertain times, reputation and trust drive more active engagement and an enjoyable readership experience.”

– Connect Weekly –