Lou Hudson, who has 15 years of experience in newspaper and magazine advertising, has been named retail advertising manager for The Advocate.
Hudson, who spent the past two years as national account director for The Fort Worth Star Telegram in Texas, replaces Janice Hebert. Hebert recently retired after more than 35 years with The Advocate including the past 13 as retail advertising manager.
“Baton Rouge is a very unique opportunity,” Hudson said. “There are still a lot of regional retail players who are very much committed to the local news and the local community. The strength of the newspaper is local news, the community commitment and involvement.”
Hudson was born in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, but her family moved to Arlington, Texas, when she was a teenager. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Texas, Arlington.
Her first experience working with newspapers and magazines was in 1982, when she was a sales representative for Hart Hanks Communications, which published a shoppers guide in the Dallas area.
Hudson later became vice president of sales for the company in 1989.
In 2002, she became the eastern region director for the Tribune Co., leading the company’s advertising national sales organization and cross media sales for all of their properties, including newspapers, radio, television and online.
Hudson went to work for Knight Ridder in 2005 as the company’s corporate sales director. She shifted to the Philadelphia Inquirer a year later and became retail display director, when Knight Ridder was sold.
Hudson said she’s thrilled to work for a family-owned newspaper, after spending time with large companies that consolidated advertising operations for multiple publications in an attempt to reduce staffing. “There’s a local focus and a commitment to the Baton Rouge community here,” she said.
Hudson said her national background will help her identify retailers who aren’t advertising in The Advocate, but do buy space in other newspapers.
“All that low hanging fruit is an opportunity,” she said. “I want to learn and understand the market here.”
While there has been a drop in newspaper advertising over the past few years as retailers use other avenues to communicate to customers, Hudson said The Advocate still has the dominant position in the local market. “This is still the best vehicle for retailers, locally or nationally,” she said.