Buscaglia Named New 'Orange County Register' Publisher

By: Joe Strupp and Jennifer Saba Marti Buscaglia, the publisher of the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, has been named the new publisher of The Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif.

Buscaglia, 54, has served as publisher in Duluth since 2002. Before that, she held senior executive positions with newspaper publishers Tribune, Knight Ridder, Gannett, and Times Mirror. She also ran her own advertising agency in Orange County before entering the newspaper business. She currently serves as president of the International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA).

Buscaglia succeeds N. Christian Anderson, who will concentrate on his role as CEO of Freedom Orange County Information. Anderson was named E&P's Publisher of the Year in May. Buscaglia will report to Anderson effective July 9.

Buscaglia, who grew up in Orange County, told E&P this afternoon, "An opportunity to come home is something I couldn't pass up." Her successor in Duluth has not yet been named.

As president of INMA, Buscaglia met Freedom Communications CEO Scott Flanders a few months ago when he was a guest speaker at the organization's conference. They started talking about the industry and realized they shared similar views.

She said she initially had no plans of leaving Duluth: "[It's] a great town, despite that people think it's Siberia," she quipped. "I had no intention of leaving Forum. I was happy here." Forum Communications owns the Duluth News Tribune.

Buscaglia, who describes herself as "very driven by numbers," is going to spend her first 30 days at the helm of the Register getting a lay of the land. She noted that U.S.-based newspapers are "behind the eight-ball" when compared to European publications. "I think we need to move quicker," she says about the industry trying new things, even if that means some initiatives flop.

Anderson will oversee Freedom Orange County Information -- a division of Freedom Communications -- which includes the Register, OC Post, 24 community newspapers, specialty publications, and direct-mail and insert products. He will concentrate on acquisitions and expansion opportunities, with heavy emphasis on interactive.

Anderson said he had been talking on and off with Flanders since last September about concentrating full time as CEO. "I'm really spread thin," he said about splitting his duties as publisher and CEO of the division.

Anderson has known Buscaglia for several years, and wanted to bring her on board. Though she is coming from a much small paper, he has no doubts that she is a good fit. "She is very smart and very thoughtful," Anderson said. "I'm not going to look over her shoulder, but I'm here to help."

Most important to Anderson, Buscaglia understands the portfolio strategy of the company by using different products to target different niches. "She gets it," he said. "There are not a lot of those people around."


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