Jim Thompson started his career in the printing and newspaper industry while attending junior high school in Sandpoint, Idaho where his parents owned a small offset commercial printing operation and a free 5-day daily newspaper. He worked in the printing department for the next 15 years, followed by a stint in ad sales.
In 1986, the Hagadone Corp. bought his parents’ company, consisting of 3 weeklies and a 5-day daily. Thompson was promoted to publisher of the Sandpoint Daily Bee and 2 other neighboring weeklies. In 1994, he was named publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press. In 2001, he was promoted to president of Hagadone Newspapers along with his responsibilities as publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press. In 2007, he resumed his role as publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press full time.