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Advocate Digital Media GM named Digital Sales Manager of the Year

By ALLISON MILES
Sept. 24, 2013 at 4:24 a.m.

Jason Holmes, general manager for Advocate Digital Media

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For information about the Local Media Association, visit localmedia.org.

A Victoria media man has gained a bit of national recognition.

Jason Holmes, general manager for Advocate Digital Media, was named Digital Sales Manager of the Year by the Local Media Association. The Local Media Association is "the only nonprofit, professional trade association specifically serving the suburban and community newspaper industry," according to its website.

Holmes received his award Thursday, during the association's fall conference in St. Louis, Mo.

The general manager said the award came as a surprise - he wasn't aware he'd been nominated - but a happy surprise nonetheless. He attributed the win to the company's belief in digital media.

While many media companies say they support the digital element, they don't always back it up.

"I think people would be surprised at the number of digital experts we have here," said Holmes, who joined the Advocate in 2011 but was promoted to general manager upon creation of Advocate Digital Media last year. "The ownership group believes in digital."

Holmes said he's particularly proud of some of the recent projects his team has undertaken - a Web redesign for Torin Bales Fine Jewelry, consulting work with Hochheim Prairie Insurance and other work with area auto and furniture dealers, for instance.

It's rewarding, he noted, to help local companies compete against national competitors.

The Victoria Advocate has been recognized as a fairly innovative paper for years but struggled when it came to developing a business out of the digital side, said Publisher Dan Easton, who nominated Holmes for the honor. Holmes recognized that opportunity, Easton said, and helped lead the company forward.

Today, the Advocate is recognized as performing well among its peers.

"That's probably the thing we're most proud of him for - being able to succeed in that area when so many newspapers are failing to do so," he said, explaining the plan moving forward is to implement similar strategies with the Advocate's sister company, Texas Community Media.

Holmes said he hopes the recognition might attract strong candidates to work with Advocate Digital Media. After all, he's always looking.

And while he said he was proud of the win, he was careful to note that he doesn't do it alone.

"It's not just me," Holmes said. "It's the whole team."

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