By: Mark Fitzgerald
Suburban Chain’s Publisher Steps Down
In yet another top management change in Hollinger International Inc.’s newspapers, Thomas
J. Neri has stepped down as president and publisher of the Pioneer Press chain of suburban
weeklies. Speculation about his replacement immediately centered on Chicago Sun-Times Vice President-Advertising and Marketing Larry Green, who has held editorial, marketing, and
advertising positions during a long career at the tabloid.
‘We haven’t really had any word. There’s no white smoke coming out of the chimney yet,’
Pioneer Press Executive Vice President Ted Biedren said in a telephone interview late
Thursday morning after telling his staff that he had no new information on the management
changes. Neri was out of the office and unavailable, his office said.
Neri will ‘continue to work on corporate issues for Hollinger … at its Chicago
headquarters,’ Pioneer said. In a statement Neri, 48, called his seven-year tenure at
Pioneer ‘the highlight of my career.’ He noted that under his management Pioneer grew
from 41 to 53 mastheads, with total circulation increasing from 175,000 to 220,000.
A spokesperson at Hollinger’s flagship Sun-Times said she had no information on further
management changes. Yesterday, the paper announced Nigel Wade, editor in chief for the past
five years, would be replaced effective May 15 with two Vancouver editors: The Vancouver
Sun Editor in Chief John Cruickshank, 47, who will take the new title of vice president,
editorial and The Province Editor in Chief Michael Cooke, also 47, who will take Wade’s
title of editor in chief.
Neri is a director of the Audit Bureau of Circulations, where he heads the newspaper task
force looking at making big changes in what constitutes “paid” circulation. His reported
successor, Larry Green, could not be reached. Newsroom sources say he is no longer vice
president-advertising and marketing, although that continues to be his title on the
Hollinger named former Pioneer Vice President and Executive Editor Peter Neill as general
manager of Lerner Newspapers, a suburban Chicago newspaper group it purchased earlier this
month. Hollinger also named Larry Kelly as president and publisher of Midwest Suburban
Publishing. The group, inside Hollinger’s Community Newspaper Division, publishes the
Daily Southtown in Chicago, The Star community paper, Elite Magazine and the PennySaver
shoppers in addition to Lerner.
Mark Fitzgerald (email@example.com) is editor at large for
Editor & Publisher magazine.
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