Analyst: Surprising Gannett Picked Broadcast Exec as New Chief

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In an early newspaper- insider response, John Morton, the longtime media-industry analyst, said he was surprised that Gannett’s board of directors has chosen Craig A. Dubow, its broadcast chief, as its new CEO and president over Gary L. Watson, head of the company’s newspaper division.

The move was announced yesterday, with Douglas McCorkindale giving up the two positions while staying on as chairman for another year.

Morton pointed out said the company gets more revenue from its newspapers than from any other division.

“Most people thought Gary Watson would be the one,” Morton told The Washington Post. “This signals a bit of a change in who is going to be at the top, but I suspect it is not going to have a big impact on how the company is run.

“It is a bottom-line-run company, and that won’t change.”

McCorkindale said in a statement that Dubow’s experience with broadcasting and the “digital world” made him the best choice for the job. Karen Hastie Williams, the presiding director on Gannett’s board, described Dubow as “the ideal person to lead Gannett into new opportunities, while continuing to grow our core newspaper and broadcasting operations.”

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