By: E&P Staff
In a surprise announcement, Tribune Co. today replaced its publishers at Newsday and Hoy — two newspapers reeling from circulation scandals.
Newsday President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy Knight has been named publisher and CEO, effective Aug. 15, succeed Raymond Jansen, 65, who Tribune said “is retiring.”
Digby Solomon Diez, vice president/general manager of Hoy, Chicago, has been named interim publisher of Hoy, while publishing executive Timothy Kennedy will serve as interim chief operating officer at the newspaper. Both Hoy appointments are effective immediately. “Solomon succeeds Louis Sito, who has served as publisher of Hoy since 1998 and is retiring,” Tribune said.
In a letter to Newsday employees Monday, Jansen wrote: “I had planned on leaving before yearend and under other circumstances I probably would have done that. But, understanding what our management has to do to repair the damage to our circulation credibility, it became apparent that my departure date should be sooner than anticipated.” Jansen has served as publisher for 10 years, and reportedly turned 65 yesterday.
A Newsday employee who asked not to be identified said the newsroom was “really upset” by Jansen’s departure. “He’s always been a great leader,” the staffer said. “Jansen grew up with Newsday,” before it was purchased by the Tribune Co., whereas Knight is viewed as more of a Tribune corporate guy by some in the newsroom, this employee said.
Sito, 60, said he was proud of his work with Hoy. “But in view of Hoy’s recent circulation issues, I do not want to be a distraction to the great work being done at the newspaper on a daily basis,” he said in a statement. “It is time for me to move on.”
When Knight was named president and chief operating officer of Newsday on July 1, Tribune Publishing President Jack Fuller praised him, saying, “He has been especially strong in confronting the circulation reporting issues the paper has faced recently. He is one of the company’s promising next generation leaders.” Knight joined the Melville, N.Y.-based paper in February 2003.
In a statement, Knight said he would confront the circulation scandal “honestly and openly.”
In a lengthy report in today’s editions of Newsday, published before Jansen’s departure was announced, Jansen said he saw nothing to convince him that other Newsday employees should be punished in the circ problems. “If I did I would have done something about it,” he told the paper. Previously, Newsday’s circulation vice president, Robert Brennan, had been suspended.
Solomon became vice president/general manager of Hoy’s Chicago edition in August 2003, overseeing all aspects of the paper. Kennedy has served as vice president/strategy and development for Tribune Publishing in January 2001. He led the expansion of Hoy into Chicago and Los Angeles.