LEWISTON — The Sun Journal has a new captain at the helm. 

Jody Jalbert, a 34-year veteran of the Lewiston newspaper, has been promoted to the role of publisher. 

The move was announced Friday and hands Jalbert leadership of the Sun Journal and the Western Maine Weeklies. 

Jody Jalbert, Sun Media Group publisher. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The promotion is particularly impressive considering that Jalbert began her career more than three decades ago taking classified ads over the phone. 

That was in May 1988 and it was just a part-time gig. But over the next three decades, Jalbert rose through the ranks of the newspaper’s advertising department, ultimately becoming its vice president for advertising in 2018. 

In 2019, Jalbert was named vice president general manager for Sun Media Group and vice president of sales for Masthead Maine, the group that owns the Sun Journal. 


She has spent her entire career at the Lewiston newspaper, mainly working out of the Sun Journal’s downtown office. Jalbert’s face is a familiar one to anyone who has worked for the newspaper at any level over the past three decades. 

It’s an important factor. 

“The Sun Journal deserves to have a local publisher,” said Lisa DeSisto, CEO of Masthead Maine, “and there’s no one better suited for this role.” 

Her colleagues, from the press crew to the news staff to those in leadership positions tend to agree. 

“Jody loves Lewiston and she loves the Sun Journal,” said Judith Meyer, executive editor of the Sun Journal and other papers. “Having her at the helm is good for our city and for our newspaper. She knows our readers very well, she knows our business and her support of our journalism is unwavering.” 

“If you’ve worked directly with Jody,” DeSisto said, “you know her to be smart, strategic, caring and focused on positive outcomes. Jody’s 34 years with the Sun Media Group will serve her well as she draws on her experience and deep roots in the community to lead SMG into the future.” 


What Jalbert brings to the role of publisher is a well-rounded familiarity of the inner workings of the newspaper business. She has those talents mainly because she’s paid attention to all facets of the business during her long career. 

“I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by mentors and co-workers who fed my curiosity and allowed me to transition, learn and grow throughout my career,” Jalbert said. “I felt it important to know and understand the process — the details of each department’s handoff to the other, from the person meeting with an advertiser, design, paper layout, pagination, plating, printing, distribution and transportation to ensure advertisers and readers get the best possible product so they continue to support the mission of our newsroom.” 

Jalbert named several of her former mentors and they include people from virtually all departments at the Sun Journal. Editors, advertising heads, supervisors from the press. … Jalbert said she has learned something from everyone she has worked with over the course of her career. 

“It’s the people who make the papers,” she said, “and there is no question we have THE BEST employees — each person is here to support our mission. 

“I truly am honored and humbled,” Jalbert said, “at the opportunity to build on the local strength and character of the Sun Journal and the Western Maine Weekly newspaper brands and guide them into the future.”

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