By: Press Release
EDGARTOWN, Mass. – Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg, owners of the
Vineyard Gazette have announced the appointment of Jane R. Seagrave as publisher of
the historic newspaper The Vineyard Gazette on Martha’s Vineyard.
A native of New England, Ms. Seagrave, 56, is currently senior vice president and chief
revenue officer for The Associated Press in New York City, where she has worked in a
series of executive roles since 2003. She has had a long career in journalism on both the
editorial and business sides, focusing heavily on the emerging world of electronic
Ms. Seagrave said the position held both personal and professional attractions. “Martha’s
Vineyard is a place of extraordinary beauty, natural and cultural diversity,” she said. “The
idea of finding ways to take a unique gem of a newspaper that I have known and admired
for years to a new generation of readers is extremely appealing.”
The Kohlbergs, who are philanthropists and residents of Mt. Kisco, N.Y. and Edgartown,
bought the Gazette, a 164-year-old award-winning weekly newspaper, in November
2010, from the Reston family, which had owned it since 1967. They were aided in their
search for a new publisher by a committee that included leading figures in journalism.
At the time of the purchase, Mr. Kohlberg outlined a broad vision for the newspaper and
pledged to reinvest any profits into its growth. “I want the Gazette to be a vibrant voice
for the Vineyard community far into the future, continuing the wonderful traditions from
the past, offering excellent, in-depth journalism, reaching the Vineyard’s diverse
communities and adapting, as necessary to the changing economic conditions which are
affecting print media all across the nation,” he said.
The position drew a large number of very qualified applicants, according to Mr.
Kohlberg. Ms. Seagrave was chosen after an intensive screening process, he said.
“She’s got leadership in her bones and her soul. She is a person of tremendous integrity
and vision,” Mr. Kohlberg said. A story about the appointment appears in today’s Gazette
Ms. Seagrave graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College and was a reporter for the AP
for six years in Boston, Grants Pass, Ore., and Santa Fe, N.M. In 1987 she went to work for
Lawyers Weekly Publications, launching weekly newspapers, also enrolling at the John F.
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she obtained a master’s
degree in public administration in 1989.
Her work has covered a wide range, spanning both print and digital publishing on the
news and business sides. She was president and publisher of Philadelphia’s daily legal
newspaper, The Legal Intelligencer, chief executive officer of localbusiness.com and
chief online strategy consultant for American Lawyer Media in New York. For the past
seven years she has been at the AP, as a vice president and director in new media markets
and then as a senior vice president in global product development which included
introduction of AP Mobile, online video and other digital products. She was named chief
revenue officer last year.
Ms. Seagrave is married to John H. Kennedy, a former Boston Globe reporter who is now
a journalism professor at La Salle University. They have a daughter in college. They will
relocate permanently to the Vineyard from their home outside of Philadelphia, Pa. Ms.
Seagrave will take the helm at the Gazette in early April.
As she prepares to depart, Ms. Seagrave had warm words for her current workplace. “I
think the AP is in excellent hands; I am not leaving the AP, I am moving to something
that is extraordinarily personal,” she said.
The search committee was led by Cristine Russell, a senior fellow at the Belfer Center at
the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and included: Alex Jones, former reporter
for The New York Times and current director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press,
Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School; Peter Osnos, founder and editorat-
large of PublicAffairs Books, and former reporter and editor for The Washington Post;
and Geoffrey Cowan, president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and dean emeritus of USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.