GateHouse Media acquires Dix Communications newspapers

Dix ComGateHouse Media recently acquired Dix Communications, which publishes newspapers in northeastern and east-central Ohio.

The acquisition includes five daily and 18 weekly publications, including The Daily Record, the Record-Courier, The Alliance Review, the Times-Gazette and The Daily Jeffersonian. In addition to the print publications, the acquisition includes a number of niche publications, websites and a commercial printing operation.

Jim Hopson, who recently served as the interim publisher in Columbus, Ohio, has been appointed interim Group Publisher of GateHouse North-Central Ohio and will oversee the new division.

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Brian Burns named new Ledger Media Group publisher

Brian BurnsBrian Burns was recently named as the new publisher of the Ledger Media Group in Lakeland, Florida, which publishes The Ledger and the News Chief.

Burns previously served as the publisher of the Tampa Tribune, and has also worked as a vice president of digital publisher relations at and as the director of interactive media and vice president of digital operations in New Jersey. He began his career in publishing as digital manager and director of business development for the Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh after earning a degree in computer science from Penn State.

He also has a degree in fire science from Oakland University in Michigan and worked as a firefighter before an injury and desire for a career change led him to the media industry.

Burns plans to move to Polk County with his wife, Shawna, and their three children after the end of the school year.

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Rustan Burton named new Columbia Daily Tribune publisher

Rustan BurtonRustan Burton was recently named publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri.

Burton has over eight years of experience in the newspaper industry and most recently served as the publisher of the Juneau Empire in Juneau, Alaska.

Burton grew up in Idaho and lived in Utah, Colorado and South Dakota before moving to Alaska. He, his wife Anna, and their four children will make the 3,100-mile move to Columbia at the end of the school year.

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Mike Distelhorst named Coastal North Carolina group publisher

Mike DistelhorstMike Distelhorst was recently named as GateHouse Media’s Coastal North Carolina group publisher.

In this new role, Distelhorst, who already served as the publisher of three GateHouse papers in eastern North Carolina — the Jacksonville Daily News, the New Bern Sun Journal and the Kinston Free Press — will take on the role of publisher of the StarNews in Wilmington.

Distelhorst grew up in southeast Iowa and graduated from Iowa’s Central College with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

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David Adams named new publisher of central Illinois papers

David Adams

David Adams

David Adams was recently named as the new publisher of GateHouse Media newspapers in central Illinois.

He will oversee nine daily papers, including The Register-Mail in Galesburg, the Canton Daily Ledger and the Pontiac Daily Leader and the Star Courier in Kewanee, in addition to 20 weeklies and 10 shoppers.

Adams has 14 years of media advertising sales experience with a strong background in digital sales, including leadership roles in direct mail, online directory business, radio and most recently newspapers.

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John Elchert named new publisher of The Daily Telegram in Adrian, MI

John ElchertJohn Elchert was recently named the new publisher of The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Michigan.

Elchert most recently served as publisher of the Mankato, Minnesota, Free Press.

He began his career in the journalism industry in 1982 when he served as the circulation director of his hometown newspaper, the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, in Tiffin, Ohio. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo.

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More Content Now partners with King Features Syndicate

MCN King

King Features Syndicate and More Content Now recently announced a collaboration that will make MCN special sections available via KFS.

KFS clients will have the ability to purchase special sections on bridal, health, home and garden, family, boomer issues and more at a special rate.

“GateHouse Media shares our commitment to editorial excellence,” said John Killian, vice president of syndication sales for King Features. “We are pleased to be able to add More Content Now’s sections to our content catalog.”

“Based on the success of producing sections like these for our own publications, MCN launched in 2012 with the goal of providing high-quality content at affordable rates for publications outside of GateHouse Media,” said More Content Now Director Lisa Glowinski. “This partnership furthers that mission.”

More Content Now’s lineup of more than three-dozen special sections for 2017 is available to KFS clients to preview and purchase immediately. Sections include an inauguration preview, a NASCAR season preview, monthly Family tabs, quarterly Healthy Living sections and several Auto tabs, including one timed to Presidents Day and a 2018 model-year preview.

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Scott Jenkins named new editor of The Dispatch in Lexington, NC

Scott Jenkins

Scott Jenkins

Scott Jenkins was recently named the new editor of The Dispatch in Lexington, North Carolina.

Jenkins previously served as the editor of The Salisbury Post, where he began working as a reporter in 1999.

He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and began his journalism career at The Daily Independent — now the Independent Tribune — in Kannapolis.

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Michael Smith promoted to Western Carolina Media Group regional editor

Herald-Journal Executive Editor Michael Smith was recently promoted to regional editor of the Western Carolina Media Group.

Smith will remain in his editor position at the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but will now also oversee the Gaston Gazette, the Hendersonville Times-News and the Shelby Star in North Carolina.

“Mike will add a seasoned element of guidance to our newsrooms across the region. He is highly skilled at problem-solving and is a transformational leader who understands the importance of delivering quality content our readers want and need,” said GateHouse Media Regional Vice President Lucy Talley.

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Bill Church named Senior Vice President News for GateHouse Media

Bill Church

Bill Church

GateHouse Media recently announced that Bill Church, a nationally-regarded newsroom executive, has been named Senior Vice President of News for GateHouse Media.

Most recently, Church has served as Executive Editor of the award-winning Sarasota Herald-Tribune where he has elevated the quality of both print and digital editions of the newspaper. In recognition of his talent and contributions, Church was given the additional responsibility of Southeast Regional Editor for GateHouse Media in June 2015.

“Bill has thoughtfully balanced the preservation of our traditional mission and values while fostering a culture of entrepreneurial journalism at newspapers large and small,” said Kirk Davis, CEO of GateHouse Media. “Digital storytelling, creative content partnerships and community engagement are all found in his toolbox.”

Church will guide GateHouse’s news strategy and lead its Austin, Texas-based Center for News & Design, which provides editing and design services for more than 216 GateHouse newspapers. In addition, the center is headquarters for GateHouse Media’s digital products team and More Content Now, its niche content creation service. In his new role, Church will ensure that the work and creativity at the center serve as a companion to GateHouse’s local market journalism.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve as an advocate for GateHouse Media’s news employees,” Church said. “I look forward to partnering with our news leaders as we evolve our journalism and our news organization.”

Church joined the Herald-Tribune in January 2013, after spending almost 23 years in editorial positions at Gannett newspapers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, New York and Oregon. This included six-plus years as Executive Editor of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon, prior to coming to Sarasota. Both the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Salem Statesman Journal won numerous national awards during his tenure. This year, a collaboration between the Herald-Tribune and Tampa Bay Times earned a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. In 2015, the Herald-Tribune was named to Editor and Publisher’s list of 10 Newspapers That Do It Right.

Church is the current President of Associated Press Media Editors, a 2016 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a two-time Pulitzer jurist. He has been a longtime member of the Asian American Journalists Association and received the national Robert G. McGruder Diversity Leadership award in 2010. Church was named a McCormick Fellow in 2006.

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