Pili Linares is the new general manager for the five newspapers in the Kitsap News Group.
She takes over for publisher Terry Ward, who recently purchased his own small newspaper group.
Linares has a long history working for Sound Publishing, which owns the Kitsap News Group and many other newspapers in Washington state and Canada.
She was publisher of La Raza, the company’s Spanish-language newspaper. She was also regional advertising director for Sound papers on the Eastside and north King County prior to the COVID pandemic. And she was ad director for the Everett Daily Herald. Outside of Sound, she was general manager of the Texarkana Gazette, ad manager for the Houston Chronicle, vice president of advertising for the Lubbock Avalanche Journal and marketing director for the Newspaper Association of America.
Her family is from Cuba, and her brothers were born there. “My mom actually came over pregnant with me,” she said.
Linares was born in Chicago, but grew up in Houston and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Texas.
In her job, she said she will be managing all aspects of the business while mentoring, coaching and supporting staff. She plans to immerse herself in the community doing things like going to the different chambers of commerce and visiting with local businesses in person with sales staff.
“I’m ready to jump in to help anywhere, anytime on anything that’s needed,” she said.
Linares said she is optimistic about growing the newspaper’s business back, and, along with that, growing staff. The newspaper group consists of the weekly Bainbridge Island Review, Port Orchard Independent and North Kitsap Herald, along with the monthly Kingston Community News and Central Kitsap Reporter.
“I love being able to engage with all of our communities and local businesses throughout Kitsap County,” she said. “We get to be and in many instances lead the community conversation through our editorial and help businesses grow with our ad team’s solutions.”
When not working, Linares enjoys swimming, traveling, reading spy and mystery novels, and watching British mystery shows.
She has been in the area for a few weeks now, and said, “It’s absolutely stunning. And everyone has been so kind and engaging.”