Kampman, 61, comes to Idaho from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He had been a publisher with BH Media Group, overseeing two larger daily papers and eight smaller community newspapers, until he retired from that position in May.
Kampman says he’s eager to come to southern Idaho and get back to doing what he enjoys.
“I’ve spent my entire career in the community newspaper business,” he said. “I believe content is king and that having excellent content at all of our publications will be a given.”
Kampman’s first day at the Times-News will be April 5. He replaces Times-News publisher Travis Quast, whose last day is Friday. Quast has taken a job in eastern Idaho, where he’ll oversee about a dozen publications.
In addition to leading southern Idaho’s Times-News and The Voice, Kampman will be the publisher of the Elko Daily Free Press in Elko, Nev.
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“I’m anxious to see Elko because I’ve never seen a mining community like that,” he said. “In a town like Elko, my thought is that you play a very critical role in the community in informing and leading that community. And I think we do the same here in Twin Falls.”
Kampman grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and got a degree in education from the University of Akron.
He began his 37-year career in newspapers in the circulation department at the Columbus Dispatch.
Kampman later grew his career with Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., as a publisher for several years. He has also been a publisher and regional vice president with Gatehouse Media, overseeing publications in Ohio and Michigan.
Kampman worked with BH Media Group for five years before he decided to retire in May 2017.
“I took what amounted to a sabbatical,” he said. “I had no idea what I was looking for. I was looking for something different.”
What he really needed was some time to himself. But now, Kampman feels ready to get back to focusing on community newspapers.
Twin Falls is much different than anywhere he’s worked before, he said. He is impressed with the “dramatic countryside” and natural beauty of Idaho.
Kampman’s hope is for the newspapers under his direction to be “platform-agnostic.”
“I don’t care how you read my content or have seen my advertising,” he said. “But I want you to see it.”
That being said, he feels the organization should focus more on putting out content that’s user-friendly for tablets and mobile devices.
He is also anxious to help nurture young people in their careers and get them set them up for the future.
Kampman’s wife of 39 years, Deborah, has experience working with Catholic Charities and would like to continue her nonprofit work in Twin Falls, he said. The pair has four grown children and a grandchild.
“Kevin is a highly experienced publishing executive with a great reputation for building strong relationships within the community,” group publisher Nathan Bekke said in a statement. “We’re excited to have such an accomplished leader join the company.”
Bekke is the vice president of consumer sales and marketing with Lee Enterprises. The media company serves 49 markets in 20 states.