By: Mark Fitzgerald
Mark G. Contreras, who ran all of Pulitzer Inc.’s newspapers other than its flagship St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is leaving the company become vice president/newspaper operations for The E.W. Scripps Company, Pulitzer announced Tuesday.
“It was a bit of a surprise, and a bit of a whirlwind romance,” said Contreras, who is a senior vice president of Pulitzer and its Pulitzer Newspapers Inc. (PNI) unit, which includes 13 dailies and 65-plus weeklies and specialty publications. He will replace Stephen W. Sullivan, who last month announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, after 35 years at Scripps. “I talked to [Scripps Senior Vice President, Newspapers] Alan Horton just in late September and by a couple of weeks ago it was all wrapped up,” Contreras told E&P of his recruitment.
Contreras will leave on Jan. 3, and begin at Scripps the next day, he said.
Pulitzer assigned, on an interim basis, three executives the responsibilities for managing the PNI properties.
Henry Bird, vice president of PNI and president and publisher of The Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill., will assume oversight responsibility for Pulitzer’s newspaper operations in Provo, Utah; Santa Maria, Lompoc, Napa, and Hanford, Calif.; and continue to oversee operations in Bloomington and DeKalb, Ill., and Rhinelander, Wisc.
Don Rowley, vice president of PNI and president and publisher of The Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff will continue to oversee operations there and in Park Hills, Mo.
Robin Davis, vice president and chief financial officer of PNI, will assume responsibility for operations in Coos Bay, Ore., and Lihue, Hawaii, while continuing as CFO and “Pulitzer’s primary financial contact for its interest in the Tucson Newspaper Agency,” the company said.
Bird, Rowley, Davis, Mike Jameson, president and chief executive of the Tucson
Newspaper Agency, and Jane Amari, editor and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star and vice president/news for PNI, will report directly to Pulitzer Inc. President and CEO Robert C. Woodworth.
Under Contreras, PNI added two daily newspapers, the Pantagraph and The Lompoc (Calif.) Record, plus about 17 other community papers and niche publications. He has been with Pulitzer since 1999. Previously, he was publisher of the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Pulitzer said it was currently evaluating both outside and internal candidates to replace Contreras.
CORRECTION, Nov 17: This story originally stated that Contreras will succeed Alan Horton at Scripps. In fact, he’ll replace Stephen W. Sullivan.