Media General Separates Production from Publishing

By: E&P Staff

In an arrangement similar to that of European newspaper companies and one pioneered in this country by the Gazette Co. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Richmond, Va.-based Media General is creating a production and distribution unit within its Publishing Division.

Effective Feb. 1, the Operations and Distribution Solutions Group will be responsible for all printing and distribution for the company’s 24 dailies and 275-plus weeklies and niche publications. The new unit aims to expand outside sales for commercial printing, primarily with other newspapers and specialty publications.

Publishing Division Vice President and Controller Dale Lachniet was named president of the new unit, financial performance of which will be consolidated in the Publishing Division segment results.

“Moving printing and distribution into a separate unit will allow publishers and managers to focus on content, sales and new products, including online opportunities. We expect this innovative approach to provide operating efficiencies,” Publishing Division President Graham Woodlief said in a statement.

The moves follows Media General dailies’ production consolidation from 25 sites to 11.

Reporting to Lachniet are regional vice presidents Bill Barker for Tampa operations, Sam Hightower forRichmond, Central Virginia and Northern Virginia operations, and Bob Rogers for Winston-Salem, N.C., and remaining community newspapers (including six other Media General production sites).

Controller since 1996, Lachniet was named vice president in 1999. Before joining Media General, he was with Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse, where he worked with media and entertainment companies, among other industries.

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