CNHI’s Reed To Head Liberty Group Publishing

By: E&P Staff

Days after he resigned as president and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (CNHI), Mike Reed was named Monday as the new CEO for another big chain of small dailies, Northbrook, Ill.-based Liberty Group Publishing Inc.

Liberty was bought by the New York investment firm Fortress Investment Group LLC last June, and had been managed by co-presidents Scott Champion and Randall Cope. They replaced CEO Kenneth Serota, a former Hollinger International attorney who formed the group by buying up dozens of the small dailies being sold off by the chain, then run by Conrad Black. Serota resigned after the sale to Fortress.

Liberty’s announcement did not mention what roles, if any, Champion and Cope will serve at Liberty. They could not be reached immediately Monday afternoon.

Liberty Group now publishes 70 daily newspapers and 227 weekly newspapers, shoppers, and other publications.

“I look forward to leading the company as it grows and evolves in this rapidly changing era for news media,” Reed said in a statement. “I am also pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Fortress Investment Group.”

Wesley R. Edens, chairman of both Liberty Group and Fortress Investment Group said the chain was looking for Reed to “to build and expand Liberty’s presence in the community newspaper sector.”

Reed had been with CNHI since its creation in 1997, and had been its president and CEO since 1999. CNHI announced his resignation last Thursday. Reed is a veteran of the old Park Communications chain.

He is on the board of directors of The Associated Press, Newspaper Association of America, and the Inland Newspaper Association. He graduated with a BS from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio in 1988.

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