Former ?Eagle-Tribune? Group CEO Richard Franks Will Head American Community Newspapers

By: E&P Staff

Richard M. Franks has been named CEO of American Community Newspapers (ACN), the community newspaper publisher announced Tuesday. He replaces Gene Carr, who resigned in May.

Until 2007, Franks had served as president, CEO, and publisher of North of Boston Media Group/Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company, the conglomerate of daily and weekly publications serving northeastern Massachusetts and southeastern New Hampshire. More recently he has been consultant and advisor to banks and venture capital firms managing media interests, acquisitions, and holdings.

Franks spent 17 years at The Dispatch Publishing Company in Columbus, Ohio, included four years as executive vice president and general manager of The Columbus Dispatch. He also served as president and CEO of Westward Communications, publisher of more than 80 community newspapers in Texas, Arkansas, and Colorado.

ACN publishes 86 community newspapers, 14 niche magazines, local websites, and targeted custom publications in Ohio, Minnesota, Texas, and Virginia.

ACN said Franks will be assisted by Frank H. Shepherd, a board member and founder of 21st Century Newspapers, which he sold in 2004. Shepherd will report to Franks and work directly with the Minnesota and Northern Virginia newspaper clusters, ACN said.

“This is a great opportunity: ACN owns a diversity of top-quality, community-oriented publications, all in strong and excellent markets. As the economy and the media industry rebound, ACN is poised to become stronger and more competitive than ever,” Franks said in a statement.

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