The Lakeland Times has announced that Jim Oxley, the newspaper’s former sports reporter, has been named as this publication’s newest editor, stepping in to take the place of Ray Rivard, who has moved to the features editor’s chair.
Oxley, a UW-Madison graduate, was hired in 2012 by Walker Communications as the features writer at The Northwoods River News in Rhinelander.
A Lakeland Union High School graduate and lifelong resident of Arbor Vitae, Oxley was promoted to sports reporter at The Lakeland Times in 2013 where he spent the past year.
When Sarah Hirsch, The Times’ former features editor, left the newspaper in January, the opportunity for renewed changes presented themselves.
“After 24 years as a news editor, I felt it was time for something different,” Rivard said about his decision to move into the features editor’s position.
“I’ve always loved writing, photography and meeting new people. This change will allow me to do all of those things and more.”
Rivard has worked in just about every corner of The Times’ building, having spent time as news editor, special sections and photos editor, and assistant editor over the course of the 14 years with the company.
Oxley, on his new position, had this to say: “The Lakeland Times as an organization has benefitted under Ray’s leadership for many years, and as he transitions back into writing, I look forward to the challenge of living up to the bar he has set.
“While I will certainly miss the sports beat, I am excited for the opportunity to be the editor of the newspaper I grew up reading, and will strive to continue the publication’s long history as a community-driven newspaper.”
Times publisher Gregg Walker said he is excited about the staff changes at the newspaper.
“These changes only make us stronger as a newspaper and organization. Ray has the experience and knowledge of the people and places in the Lakeland area to become an excellent features editor. Jim will also bring his lifelong experiences to the editor’s seat. Overall, we feel these are excellent moves that will enhance our coverage of the communities we serve.
“We have many projects this summer that will require the experience and expertise that these two [Rivard and Oxley] will bring to their new positions. We are celebrating three major events this summer: The 125-year celebration of the town of Minocqua, the centennial in Lake Tomahawk, and the 50th year of Beef-A-Rama. We will be covering these events extensively and want the best people in place to make these coverages something special,” Walker said.
With Oxley moving out of the sports department, the sports coverage for the spring will be handled by reporters within the news department through the spring.
The changes in personnel and their duties at The Times has been under way for a couple of weeks as the transition is a work in progress.
As Rivard and Oxley move into new positions, they will work to make the changes as seemless as possible and to continue to provide news information in a timely manner.
Yes, “The Times they are a changin’.”