Announcements

Austin American-Statesman launches new streaming radio station

The Austin American-Statesman has launched its new streaming radio station, Austin360 Radio, available at austin360radio.com. Well-known Austin radio personality JB Hager will headline the new station with his daily show, 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“After months of planning and creative effort, we’re thrilled to go live today,” said Scott Pompe, Statesman vice president of advertising. “Our intention when creating this station was to give Austin listeners an engaging alternative in music as well as in local news and entertainment content. It was also essential that we had an experienced local talent be the voice of our station. We feel incredibly fortunate that JB Hager is returning to local radio on Austin360 Radio.”

For almost 18 years, Hager was one half of the popular “JB and Sandy Morning Show,” with co-host Sandy McIlree, that played on Mix 94.7 FM. In 2014, Hager moved on to Austin Radio Network 105.3 FM; he departed in 2016. Since then, Hager has been involved in various projects, including the annual Tour de France podcast with Lance Armstrong, “The Move.”

“I’m excited to be back behind the mic and part of a station that’s putting a twist on regular radio,” said Hager. “Plus, we’re going to embrace the local, which is something I feel that radio in Austin has moved away from over the years.”

Rob Connelly, director of Digital Audio for GateHouse Media, who was instrumental in developing the streaming station, describes the station’s music genre as ’70s funk and soul.

But rather than played in their standard format, the funk and soul hits will be woven into party-style remixes. These remixes were created by Steve Raskin, one of the founding members of the Fort Knox Five, a music group in Washington, D.C,. known for its eclectic remixes, and Austin-based DJ Manny Muniz.

When music isn’t playing, Austin360 Radio will also feature the work of Statesman journalists, who will step into the studio to cover their work on politics, technology, food, football and more. Hager intends to also share historical and quirky information about the capital city.

Austin360 Radio is available at austin360radio.com or by clicking on the radio button prominently displayed at the top of each of the Statesman’s three websites: statesman.com, austin360.com and hookem.com.

Businesses interested in advertising on Austin360 Radio can contact Statesman Advertising at (512) 445-1739.

About Statesman Media:

Statesman Media is the premier media company in Central Texas. Its brand portfolio spans print and digital, reaching audiences on smartphones, tablets and desktops. Our products and services include the Austin American-Statesman, named Texas Newspaper of the Year three of four years by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors; six community newspapers; Austin360, the entertainment publication; corresponding websites, statesman.com, hookem.com, and austin360.com; the digital edition, Statesman ePaper; a dynamic news app, Statesman Live; and social media feeds, @statesman and @austin360. Our print products reach more than 638,000 readers each week, while digital platforms draw 5 million visitors accessing more than 26 million pages each month. With over a century of experience, Statesman Media knows local.  We’ll take your business to the next level with traditional and digital marketing solutions. Statesman Media manages the Statesman Cap10K as well as several community and charitable efforts including Statesman Season for Caring and Statesman Swim Safe for Austin Kids, a local program that teaches at-risk children to swim. Statesman Media is part of GateHouse Media.

About GateHouse Media, LLC:

GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., which is focused primarily on investing in a high-quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing businesses. GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by its 144 daily publications. As of April 30, 2018, GateHouse operates in 565 markets across 38 states. GateHouse Media’s portfolio of products includes over 600 business and community publications and 569 websites, serves more than 215,000 business advertising accounts, and reaches 23 million people on a weekly basis.

GateHouse announces key finance leadership changes

Jennifer Ellmer, GateHouse Media’s Vice President of Finance, Accounting & Shared Services, recently announced the following key finance leadership changes:

Darryl Hudson is being promoted to Associate VP Finance, FRC. Darryl brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of newspaper operations, with a strong focus on revenue systems – conversions, standardization and consolidations. In his new role, Darryl will partner with other Accelerating Results teams to develop and implement newspaper operational standards for our markets, while leading centralized transactional support centers through the next phase of organizational change.

Kristen Sites, Associate VP Finance, will transfer from overseeing the AdRC and PARC centralized FRC teams to Associate VP Finance, Compliance and Process Improvement for Newspaper Operations. Kristen will be a key finance leader and strong business partner as we align processes, while ensuring strong internal controls.

Darlene Rodrigue, Director of Finance, will transfer from overseeing the CRC centralized FRC team to Director of Finance, ARC for the Newspaper Operations’ general accounting team. With her tremendous newspaper experience, Darlene has led the CRC team through a transitional phase of growth and development. She is a strong contributor and brings a unique perspective while championing change efforts.

GateHouse to partner with Google, LMA, FTI on Digital Subscriptions Lab

Pittsford, New York, March 27, 2019 — GateHouse Media, LLC (“GateHouse Media” or the “Company”) has been selected to work with the Google News Initiative, Local Media Association and FTI Consulting as part of the recently announced Digital Subscriptions Lab.

This ambitious, intensive project will take place over the course of six months. The goal is to develop a sustainable and thriving business model built on a foundation of digital subscriptions.

“We are thrilled to be among a select group of publishing companies chosen to participate in the Google Subscriptions Lab initiative,” said GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis. “This opportunity paves the way for us to advance our expertise in applying data, content, technology, and marketing strategies to optimize our digital subscription path. Developing a thriving digital model to showcase the amazing work being done by our journalists across the United States is essential to preserving the vitality and viability of our local journalism.”

The dedication of both time and resources to this initiative reflects GateHouse’s devotion to journalism with impact and commitment to creating a vibrant landscape of local news for generations to come. GateHouse expects this partnership to be influential and transformative for the future of news.

“It is critically important to continue to grow our digital subscription business, and there is no better way to do that than to work with Google Subscription Lab partners and other publishers,” said Jeff Moriarty, GateHouse SVP of Digital. “We look forward to working together to accelerate our digital products and strategies.”

The Columbus Dispatch, among GateHouse’s largest digital subscription sites, will be the focus. Strategies and learnings developed during the initiative will then be deployed across GateHouse’s hundreds of other websites.

“We’re excited to drive this forward and identify solutions that’ll empower our teams and newspapers across the nation,” said Brad Harmon, Dispatch president and publisher.

More information can be found on Local Media Association’s website.

About GateHouse Media, LLC

GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., which is focused primarily on investing in a high quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing and business services. GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States, as measured by its 146 daily publications. As of December 30, 2018, the company operates in over 580 markets across 37 states, reaching over 22 million people on a weekly basis and serves over 199,000 business customers.

For more information regarding GateHouse Media, please visit www.gatehousemedia.com.

Contact

GateHouse Media

Lori Catron, Vice President Marketing Strategy & Communications

386-265-6830

lcatron@gatehousemedia.com

Rugged Races announces appointment of new VP, Chief Revenue Officer

Rugged Races LLC, a subsidiary of GateHouse Live and one of the largest endurance event companies in North America, today announced that Ronan Gardiner will be joining the company in the newly created role of VP, Chief Revenue Officer. Gardiner was most recently VP, Publishing Director & Chief Revenue Officer overseeing Men’s Health, Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines and their respective web sites.

“We have worked incredibly hard over the past nine years to build a portfolio of fun and challenging events, while also developing industry-leading production capabilities,” said Rob Dickens, Senior Vice President and co-founder of Rugged Races. “We’re excited to bring on board someone with Ronan’s experience and sales management expertise to lead our sponsorship sales initiatives.”

Bradford Scudder, Senior Vice President and co-founder added, “as we continue to acquire and develop new events, as well as increase the number of participants across our existing portfolio, we are confident that Ronan will help us to develop even more partnerships with brands who want to engage with our highly attractive audience of young, educated, active performance-driven men and women.”

GateHouse Live President, Jason Taylor, pointed out that “owning both events and media outlets (GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally-based media in the US) allows us to deeply connect with communities while also providing a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind platform for our sponsor partners to engage with consumers in a meaningful and impactful way.”

Gardiner, an avid runner who regularly participates in road races, triathlons and Rugged Maniac obstacle course races, said that he is thrilled to join the company. “GateHouse Live is the industry leader in event production and execution from coast to coast. From High School Sports and Community Choice Awards to Expos, Festivals and Endurance Races, GateHouse is redefining community engagement through life-changing experiential events. And the connection that brands are able to forge with consumers at such events is both powerful and unique.”

About Rugged Races LLC

Rugged Races is one of the largest endurance event companies in North America, attracting over 300,000 attendees to a wide variety of events each year. It offers events for all types of athletes, from marathons and cycling events to obstacle course races and fun runs. Its mission is two-fold: To produce world-class events that get people off their couches and doing something physical, social, and fun with their weekends, while offering its charitable and corporate partners multi-channel access to active lifestyle enthusiasts through on-site interactions, digital engagement, and exceptional local media coverage.

In August of last year, Rugged co-founders Brad Scudder and Rob Dickens announced the sale of a majority interest in their company to New Media Investment Group Inc. Rugged Races has since become a key component of New Media’s events company, GateHouse Live, which now hosts over 460 events in over 300 markets in North America, with 650,000 annual attendees, and a database of over 5.1 million users. Parent company, GateHouse Media, is one of the largest publishers of locally-based media in the United States, publishing, as of March 2019, 145 daily newspapers, 325 community publications and more than 555 local market websites that reach more than 23 million people each week.

Jennifer Allen promoted to Publisher for GateHouse Media’s East Arkansas Region

Matt Guthrie, regional vice president for GateHouse’s Southwest region, has named Jennifer Allen group publisher over the East Arkansas region. GateHouse Media’s East Arkansas group includes the Hot Springs Village Voice, Pine Bluff Commercial, White Hall Journal, Stuttgart Daily Leader, the Helena Daily World, Newport Independent and Bastrop Enterprise.

Allen is a local Arkansan, growing up in Malvern. She worked her way through college as an advertising sales representative at the Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald while attending Henderson State University. Just before graduating with her BBA, she accepted a sales position at the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record and spent the last five of 15 years there as retail advertising manager before joining the Hot Springs Village Voice staff in June 2007.

Since then, Allen has served as regional advertising director overseeing 13 GateHouse properties, such as Pine Bluff Commercial, Newport Independent, Heber Springs Sun Times, Van Buren County Democrat, and North Little Rock Times, before being promoted to General Manager in 2017, overseeing advertising and overall operations of Hot Springs Village Voice, Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald, Gurdon Times, Nevada County Picayune, and the Hope Star.

“It is with great pride that I accept the role as the East Arkansas Group Publisher. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked and learned from some of the best publishers in the state,” said Allen. “Community newspapers have the power to bring about good and profound differences within their locales. Working collaboratively with business owners and advertisers promoting their goods and services to consumers through digital and print platforms are a top priority. Fair, honest, unbiased local news coverage is most important. It’s something that you can’t get anywhere else,” she added.

“I know Jennifer is more than ready and capable for the challenge and I am excited for the next chapter in East Arkansas,” said Guthrie.

SVP of GateHouse news, Bill Church, adds Statesman editor-in-chief to title

PITTSFORD, NY — GateHouse Media, LLC (“GateHouse Media” or the “Company”) announced Feb. 7 that Bill Church will add the role of Austin American-Statesman editor-in-chief to his responsibilities as GateHouse Media’s senior vice president of news, effective immediately. Church, a respected industry veteran, known for his visionary leadership, has served in his current role since 2016.

“Leading one of the largest newsrooms among GateHouse’s 470 daily and weekly publications demands innovation, passion and a commitment to journalism with impact,” said Kirk Davis, GateHouse CEO. ”Bill’s brand of boundary-pushing journalism is an ideal fit for Austin, and in his dual role as Statesman editor-in-chief and GateHouse senior vice president of news, Bill is committed to transforming our existing newsroom models into agile, audience-engaged teams.”

In the role of SVP news, Church guides GateHouse Media’s news strategy and leads the Center for News & Design which offers a broad range of content services to the company’s newspapers and commercial clients and serves as a leader and change agent within the design community. Previously, Church served as executive editor of the company’s award-winning Sarasota Herald-Tribune, which received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for its year-long collaboration with the Tampa Bay Times detailing the horrific conditions in Florida’s mental hospitals.

“I am very excited to work with Bill again after our very successful time together at the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota,” said Pat Dorsey, Publisher of the Austin American-Statesman and Regional Vice President for GateHouse Media. “He has a well-earned reputation as an innovative and collaborative leader with a passion for impactful community journalism. I look forward to matching his passion and vision with the already high performing news team at the Austin American-Statesman to take our journalism to new heights and best serve the Austin community.”

Church is a former president of Associated Press Media Editors, a 2016 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a two-time Pulitzer jurist. Church 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.

About GateHouse Media, LLC

GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., which is focused primarily on investing in a high quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing and business services. The company is one of the largest publishers of locally-based media in the United States, as measured by its 145 daily newspapers. As of September 30, 2018, GateHouse Media operates in over 555 markets across 37 states, reaching over 23 million people on a weekly basis, and serves over 221,000 business customers.

For more information regarding GateHouse Media, visit www.gatehousemedia.com.

Contact

GateHouse Media

Carlene Cox, Director of Specialty Content

630-310-9567

ccox@gatehousemedia.com

Industry innovator to lead news performance, partnerships

Since its establishment in 2014, the Austin-based Center for News & Design has been devoted to developing innovative design methods that enable GateHouse Media newsrooms to focus on their primary mission: #DoJournalismWithImpact.

GateHouse Media Senior Vice President of News, Bill Church recently announced two important changes regarding the leadership at the CND.

First, Steve Dorsey has been named Vice President of News Performance and Partnerships. Formerly the Vice President of Innovation and Planning at the Austin American-Statesman, Dorsey brings an impressive combination of executive-level strategy and vision, along with imaginative design chops.

“Many at GateHouse have already worked closely with Steve, and can attest to his creativity and stellar work ethic,” Church said. “I’m confident Steve will strengthen our relationships with newsroom leaders and commercial clients, encourage a renewed sense of creativity among our many talented designers, and empower our management team to collaborate in new and exciting ways.”

A former President of the Society for News Design, Dorsey’s experience includes top design leadership roles with the Detroit Media Partnership, which manages The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. In his new role, Dorsey will define the vision and provide the strategic energy for the CND, and will work to expand content partnerships that benefit our newsrooms.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to join the Center for News and Design at such a critical time in the news industry,” Dorsey said. “I’m eager to get to know and work closely with the talented designers, editors and leadership teams at the CND, and look forward to partnering with GateHouse editors, newsrooms and the communities we serve around the country to deliver the very best news experiences possible.”

Second, Doug Gass has been named CND Executive Director. Gass has been the driving force behind the CND since its inception, and has previous newsroom leadership experience including Executive Editor of the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. In his new role, Gass will be responsible for managing the staff and operations of the CND, while leading the onboarding of new products.

The Center for News & Design offers a range of content services to GateHouse newspapers and commercial clients, including centralized copy editing and page design, web development, niche content products and training. The CND currently produces more than 200 newspapers and is staffed with more than 225 employees — making it the largest such design hub in the nation.

These appointments will enable GateHouse to build on the CND’s successful model and continue to serve as an influencer in the news and design space.

About GateHouse Media, LLC

GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., which is focused primarily on investing in a high quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing and business services. The company is one of the largest publishers of locally-based media in the United States, as measured by its 145 daily newspapers. As of September 30, 2018, GateHouse Media operates in over 555 markets across 37 states, reaching over 23 million people on a weekly basis, and serves over 221,000 business customers.

New Media announces agreement to acquire the newspaper assets of Schurz Communications Inc.

New Media Investment Group Inc. recently announced that it has agreed to acquire the newspapers and related assets of Schurz Communications Inc. for $30 million. GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc.

Schurz is selling ten daily newspapers, which include the highly attractive college towns of South Bend, Indiana, (The South Bend Tribune) and Bloomington, Indiana (Herald-Times). The group has an average daily circulation of 105,000 and Sunday circulation of 94,000 and its websites average over 4 million unique visitors monthly and have more than 300,000 social media followers. Additionally, there are nine weekly and fourteen other community publications that have an aggregate weekly circulation of 250,000. These assets span Indiana, South Dakota, Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to welcome the Schurz publications and their employees into New Media,” said Michael E. Reed, New Media President and Chief Executive Officer. “After nearly 150 years of ownership, we are honored that the Schurz family has chosen us to steward these papers into the future. They have a long history of strong journalism and community impact and we are excited to build upon their digital efforts
with the introduction of our UpCurve products.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter. Moorgate Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Schurz Communications in connection with this transaction.

For more information, visit New Media.

Jane Katona takes on top News-Journal role as general manager

From an original story by Daytona Beach News-Journal staff.

Jane Katona, former Daytona Beach News-Journal advertising director and current GateHouse vice president of sales for East Florida, was recently named as the paper’s general manager.

Katona will continue to oversee sales across East Florida, in addition to assuming day-to-day responsibilities from News-Journal publisher Bill Offill. Offill will continue to serve as group publisher, overseeing operations of The News-Journal, the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and the St. Augustine Record. He will be moving to Jacksonville to assume direct oversight as publisher of the Florida Times-Union.

“It’s been a privilege to lead The News-Journal for the past five years, to make a home in this vibrant community and work with some of the best employees in the industry,” Offill said. “While I will no longer be living in Volusia County, as group publisher, I’m looking forward to my visits back to the area and am equally excited about the new opportunities in Jacksonville.”

Katona has been serving as vice president of sales, East Florida, since May 2018 and will be adding responsibility for the news, marketing and advertising operations at The News-Journal. She will continue to lead the mission to be the top news source and digital and print advertising platform in Volusia and Flagler counties.

“Jane was the obvious choice for this role, given her knowledge of the market and the high regard with which she is held in the community,” Offill said. “I wouldn’t be able to make this move without knowing The News-Journal, its employees and its readers are in great hands.”

Running her local newspaper is a dream come true for Katona. “I’ve known many of The News-Journal employees for over 20 years. It’s surreal to now have the opportunity to be their leader. I’m truly honored and humbled,” Katona said. “I look forward to working with this dynamic team in our continued commitment to the communities we serve.”

Katona has deep roots in the community, having owned a home in Volusia County for two decades. She previously worked for The News-Journal from 1994 to 2008 and after a brief hiatus, returned as advertising director in May 2015. She and her husband, Steve, have three children, Felicia, Steven and Katie.

Read the original story here.

Bobby Rice named general manager of The Tuscaloosa News

From an original story by Michael James of The Tuscaloosa News.

The Tuscaloosa News has promoted Bobby Rice to general manager. Rice, 50, joined The News in July as advertising director and will continue in that role. As general manager, however, he will be involved in all of the newspaper’s operations.

“I’m honored and humbled to be part of this iconic and award-winning newspaper,” Rice said. “This is a fast-moving and shifting business, but we are as committed as always to delivering quality local journalism across all of our platforms and providing local marketing solutions to our business partners.”

Patrick Dorsey, regional vice president for GateHouse Media, which owns The Tuscaloosa News, said Rice made an immediate, positive impact upon his arrival in Tuscaloosa. “I have known Bobby for many years and have always admired his overall leadership abilities, as well as his strong sales acumen,” Dorsey said. “I was very happy we were able to bring him into GateHouse and to Tuscaloosa, and the results of his hard work over the past few months have validated that decision. Bobby has jumped into the Tuscaloosa community with both feet and I am very confident his leadership will be beneficial to Tuscaloosa and to The Tuscaloosa News for many years to come. I am thrilled we are able to reward him by promoting him to general manager.”

A graduate of Troy University, Rice has extensive experience in newspaper advertising in both sales and managerial roles, and also owned and operated a small business in Pensacola, Florida. He has worked for papers in Florida, Texas, Alabama and Louisiana, including the Montgomery Advertiser and the Dallas Morning News. He accepted the position of advertising director at The Tuscaloosa News after selling his business. “Having owned a business, I have a special appreciation for the challenges our business partners face every day,” Rice said.

“Bobby has demonstrated exceptional leadership since joining our Tuscaloosa News team,” said Jim Doughton, regional publisher for GateHouse Media. “He is an astute advertising professional and a forward-thinking leader who embraces innovation and change. We are extremely pleased to be able to promote someone from our Tuscaloosa staff to general manager to lead this great team.”

Although Rice joined The News this summer, he is no stranger to Tuscaloosa. His father, Bill Rice Sr., played football for coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama from 1958-1961, and his uncle, Bobby Rice, who was married to the former Carolyn Burchfield of Tuscaloosa, was director of athletic facilities at UA for more than 30 years.

Rice said his connections to Tuscaloosa make the opportunity to lead The News especially rewarding.

“Growing up in the state of Alabama, I’ve visited Tuscaloosa often, and I’ve read The Tuscaloosa News my entire life,” Rice said. “Being the youngest of three boys I always thought it was unfair that I got the sports page last. I think about that and smile as I walk past our sports department every morning.”

Rice and his wife, Molly, have two children, Will, 12, and Eleanor, 9.

Read the original story here.

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