January 8, 2010

Island Free Press has a new ad manager

Jordan Tomberlin is The Island Free Press’ new director of advertising sales.

After several months of training, Tomberlin took over managing the newspaper’s advertising on Jan. 1, replacing Evan Ferguson.

Tomberlin was born and raised in Burnsville in the mountains of western North Carolina and has been vacationing on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands for more than 20 years. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied English and art history.  On one of her vacations, she met a local fisherman, Patrick Caton, captain of the Little Clam, and she moved to Hatteras Island permanently after her graduation.

She started writing articles for The Island Free Press soon after its inception in the fall of 2007.  She has written a wide variety of articles from girls’ basketball to sea turtle conservation to profiles of interesting islanders.

Her main focus will now be advertising sales, but she will continue to write some articles.

Tomberlin replaces Evan Ferguson of Buxton, who managed advertising sales for the newspaper for almost two years.

In a farewell message to advertisers, Ferguson said she intends to remain on the island but will concentrate on her brochure distribution business, her jewelry design, and being a wife and mother.

“I'm very proud of what we have accomplished and know that the paper will continue to grow and become a force to be reckoned with,” Ferguson said.  "I am confident that Jordan will take care of what we have built, and I feel like she will greet it with the enthusiasm it deserves. I am very excited about my new path and feel completely at peace, so I know I am doing the right thing by myself and the paper.”

Under Ferguson’s direction, advertising sales at The Island Free Press grew 12 percent.

“Evan moved into the ad manager’s job about six months after the newspaper was established,” said Irene Nolan, Island Free Press editor and publisher. “She believes in what we are doing for the islands and local businesses, and she did an outstanding job in building revenues and local business support to keep the publication going. We will miss her.”

Nolan said Tomberlin has been a pleasure to work with as a writer.

“Jordan loves Hatteras and Ocracoke and intends to make a life here,” she said. “She has been a terrific addition to our staff of freelance writers.  She is a natural and very talented writer who has learned a lot about the islands in her two years of producing articles on many different subjects.

“I am sure she will transfer that talent and drive to serving our advertisers and continuing to grow business support for our only local, online, up-to-date newspaper,” Nolan added.

In her first message to advertisers, Tomberlin noted the growth of The Island Free Press during 2009 – especially during and after the November northeaster.

“We had more than one million visits to the site in 2009,” Tomberlin wrote in an e-mail to advertisers. “To be exact, we had 1,028,606 visits from 368,834 unique IP addresses. In addition, we have a Facebook group and a Facebook fan page and more than 3,500 readers signed up for e-mail alerts…..In short, The Island Free Press has become the premier media outlet for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.”

You can contact Jordan Tomberlin at 252-216-8639 or 252-986-2184 or [email protected].

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