MUNSTER | The Times Media Co. has named Joe Battistoni as new digital advertising director.
Battistoni, who started Tuesday, was attracted to The Times because of the exponential digital growth year over year.
"Our mobile impressions have doubled in the last year, and our total site traffic continues to grow," he said.
Battistoni wants to make the user experience on nwi.com the best it can be and provide advertisers with digital solutions that work, educating them on products to take their business to the next level, he said.
"I love our site," he said. "I love the content on it. It's local and it's relevant to the area and the people that it serves. I'm looking forward to taking the region and The Times to the next stratosphere in digital."
Battistoni's background in digital made him a good fit for the job.
"I'm very proud we were able to find someone of this caliber to join our team," said Times Media Co. Publisher Chris White. "His knowledge of digital advertising options, combined with his past experience, ensure that we are going to be able to expand the service and options that we offer our local advertisers."
Battistoni started out of college as growth representative for RedEye, with the Tribune Media Group.
"I moved into national quickly thereafter, then over to cars.com, which is where my digital sales career started," he said.
He returned to the Tribune Media Group, working as a sales manager for RedEye before starting an initiative at Tribune focusing on digital services, such as social media management and search engine optimization.
He most recently worked as digital category manager for all local retail for Tribune Media Group.
"When I was the category manager, I combined digital services and digital display to make what i considered the best digital suite in the market," he said. "The idea is to take those learnings and make them even better here."
A 2005 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Battistoni holds a bachelor's degree in political science.
He maintains a relationship with the school's student paper, the Daily Egyptian, where he spent time as advertising manager.
"I am on the Daily Egyptian Policy Review Board, making sure the student newspaper is headed in the direction the (Chicago) Tribune and now The Times is," he said.
Battistoni was inducted into the student newspaper's hall of fame as its first inductee, he said.
The accolade is the most recent in a slew of career awards for the 31-year-old.
He was Daily Egyptian Rookie of the Year 2004, Senior of the Year 2005, Chicago Tribune Rookie of the Year 2006, and he earned the National Newspaper Association Media Innovation Award of Excellence in 2007 and cars.com Rookie of the Year in 2008.
"Needless to say, I'm very excited about my rookie year at The Times."
Battistoni, an avid White Sox fan, is a married father of one, with another on the way. His family lives in Frankfort, Ill., where Battistoni was raised.