Wes Orange leaving as advertising adviser

Wes Orange, our advertising adviser and sales manager since February 2022, is leaving WKU Student Publications to accept a position with Houchens Insurance Group in Bowling Green.

It’s a great move for Wes, but we’re sad to see him leave Student Pubs.

Wes has done a phenomenal job for us since joining Student Pubs. A lifelong Hilltopper fan and the grandson of the legendary voice of the Tops, Wes Strader, Wes immediately leaped in to rebuild to the student staff, create a new training program and build a stronger book of clients across our publications and platforms.

Wes joined us at a challenging time, still suffering the doldrums of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the midst of change for the College Heights Herald as it transitioned away from being focused on print, and with a single student on the staff of Student Publications Advertising — the ad manager.

It was daunting, but Wes stepped into it with a can-do attitude, a teamwork philosophy, natural skill at mentoring students and never looked back.

During his two years, Wes and his team of students worked closely with Sam Oldenburg and our Cherry Creative branded-content studio to broaden our efforts at generating revenue and to rebuild our clients. He was tireless in making contacts in businesses throughout Bowling Green — longtime advertisers, businesses that hadn’t been in our stable for a while, and new businesses that pop up constantly in this fast-growing community. He landed many new clients.

The effort showed up in our revenue. Student Publications posted a 37% growth in revenue from $103,299 FY2022 to $141,958 in FY2023 — remarkable under any circumstance, but outstanding for a college media group. That growth, driven by Wes and the students he advised, has continued into FY24, with the Fall 2023 semester showing 35% growth versus Fall 2022.

Wes will leave us on Feb. 28, two years to the day from when he joined us in 2022. He leaves a much stronger operation than he found and, importantly, a great roadmap for the person who follows him.

We’ve requested to fill this job right away, as it is mission critical to our revenue-dependent operation, but that requires approval from the WKU administration. I’ll update you when I hear something.

Congratulations to Wes, his wife Alice (a Herald advertising alumna) and their kids, Olivia and Charlie!