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Oahu Publications promotes Kotarek, Kato to key positions

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    Kenn Kato, left, and Aaron Kotarek have been promoted to key positions at Oahu Publications Inc.

Oahu Publications Inc., parent company of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, has promoted Aaron Kotarek to the position of senior vice president of audience/operations.

Kotarek joined OPI in May 2015 as its vice president of circulation, overseeing overall audience growth, consumer revenue enhancement, digital platform engagement, among many other duties.

In his new position, Kotarek will also be responsible for the company’s press and building operations in Kapolei and Kona on the Big Island.

“Aaron has worked with our team for three years now and has performed at a very high level,” said Dennis Francis, president of OPI and publisher of the Star-Advertiser. “This additional responsibility is significant and is critical to our company’s success.”

Before joining OPI, Kotarek was the vice president of audience development at McClatchy’s Herald Leader Media in Lexington, Ky. He has also served in various executive positions for several large media companies, including Cox Enterprises, Morris Communications and the Omaha World-Herald Co.

OPI, the state’s largest media company, also announced the promotion of Kenn Kato to production director. Kato has had a long career in Honolulu newspaper production, starting in 1979 as an apprentice at the Hawaii Newspaper Agency. Since 2012, he has served as pressroom manager for OPI, overseeing the operations of the company’s presses in Kapolei.

In his new role, Kato will directly manage all production activity at the Kapolei and Kona press facilities.

Kato replaces Marty Black, who is retiring after 17 years managing the production departments for HNA, the Honolulu Advertiser and, since 2010, the Star-Advertiser.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to name Kenn as the senior leader for our production departments in Kapolei and Kona,” Francis said. “It’s wonderful that we have the talent that allows us to promote from within for such an important position.”

OPI publishes a large selection of daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and specialty publications. In addition to the Star-Advertiser, the company publishes Midweek, The Garden Island, Hawaii Tribune-Herald, West Hawaii Today, HILuxury magazine, and numerous in-room hotel publications.

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