Longtime Tennessean editor to lead new nationwide effort to reinvigorate hundreds of local newspapers


Michael A. Anastasi, vice president of The Tennessean and USA TODAY South Region editor, was promoted this week to lead a new nationwide Gannett effort to transform the growth trajectory for hundreds of local newspapers.

His new role, vice president of local, will report directly to Gannett Co. Inc. Chief Content Officer Kristin Roberts.

Gannett, owner of USA TODAY and its nationwide network of local papers, hired Roberts in March to redevelop its local news strategy.

Mark Russell, executive editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, will assume duties as Gannett's Interim South Region editor, overseeing operations at 20 news outlets in Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Anastasi will remain The Tennessean's editor pending a national search for his successor. Tennessean News Director Ben Goad will continue to run day-to-day operations in Nashville.

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