James Bengfort has joined Illinois Times as advertising director. Bengfort has been in
the newspaper business since 1996 and comes to Springfield after serving since 2005
as associate publisher of Urban Tulsa, the alternative weekly in Tulsa, Okla.
Fletcher Farrar, Illinois Times‘ editor and president of Central Illinois Communications,
the newspaper’s parent company, earlier this year announced that Sharon Whalen,
publisher of Illinois Times since July 2002, would be leaving the paper to move to
Sarasota, Fla. Whalen has continued to serve in the interim but will be leaving the paper
in mid-September. She will remain involved as a consultant until early 2013. Farrar will
serve as both editor and publisher, a position he held for many years.
“This is a significant transition,” Farrar said. “Sharon has been chief operating officer
around her for a decade, as well as my business partner, colleague and friend. We
will miss her a lot. However, she has left us in a strong position. With James’ arrival as
ad director, and the steady contributions of our experienced staff, we look forward to
“These 10 years have been among the most satisfying of my working life. We’ve done
some excellent work and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished,” Whalen
said. “Illinois Times is stronger editorially and more involved in the community than ever
before in its 38-year history.” The weekly publication has an audited circulation of 28,000
and is distributed free each Thursday in Springfield and 16 nearby communities.
Whalen has overseen significant changes in editorial policy and design, as well as
steady growth in advertising and circulation. She also played a key role in organizing
the MacArthur Boulevard Business Association, the Capital Area Independent Business
Alliance and was a champion for the Springfield in Bloom program from 2005-2010.
She’s also enjoyed helping to establish Springfield’s Pecha Kucha nights.
Illinois Times has eleven full-time staff members as well as a number of freelance
contributors. Along with the weekly newspaper it also publishes Capital City Visitor,
Capital City Wedding and Capital City Parent. The paper is published each Thursday
and is available online at www.illinoistimes.com as well as on Ipad and Iphone. Bengfort
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.