Mong steps up after Halbreich steps down p.16

By: Editorial Staff Longtime Belo exec departs and mulls starting his own chain
After creating the Dallas Morning News' first marketing department just five years out of college at the start of a 24-year career that catapulted him to president and general manager, Jeremy L. Halbreich is leaving the paper ? possibly to start his own newspaper group.
"One thing I've been thinking of pursuing is forming a holding company and purchasing some newspapers. Now I don't know if I'll be able to pull that off, but it is one thing I will be pursuing very aggressively," Halbreich said.
Replacing Halbreich in both positions, parent company A.H. Belo Corp. announced, is Robert W. Mong Jr., who joined the Morning News as assistant city editor in 1979 and is currently executive vice president of the Dallas-based media company's publishing division.
"We're always disappointed to see someone as good as Jeremy is do something else, but he has been wanting to do something entrepreneurial for a while, and you can't really quarrel with a decision like that," said Burl Osborne, Morning News publisher and president of Belo's publishing division.
Mong began his career in 1971 as a reporter at papers in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin before joining the Morning News, where he rose to become its 16th managing editor in 1990. He served as business editor, projects editor and deputy managing editor before being named publisher of Belo's newly acquired Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, Ky., in 1996. He returned to Dallas as executive vice president of the publishing unit in September 1997.
Halbreich joined the Morning News fresh out of college in 1974 at the
urging of Robert Decherd, who had graduated a year ahead of him and returned to Texas to help run Belo, the family business.
At the time, the Morning News had a reputation as a sleepy, gray paper of record that was ill-prepared for competition with the feisty Times Mirror-owned Dallas Times Herald. While the paper's journalistic prowess grew, Halbreich concentrated on marketing. He created the first marketing department in 1979 and earned promotions every few years until being named general manager in 1987, president in 1991.
Building on his position at the Morning News, Halbreich has also played a major role at the Audit Bureau of Circulations, chairing an industry task force that held contentious discussions about market segmentation and discounting.
This fall, ABC is set to consider a proposal championed by Halbreich's task force that would allow newspapers to report deeply discounted copies as part of their total circulation.
Halbreich will continue his ABC duties until the group's annual meeting in November.
"Robert Decherd and I go back together to college . . . and I came with a real commitment and vision of turning the Morning News into what we hoped
would be a great newspaper. And we succeeded. And going forward, as I said, I've gotten spoiled, and I'm going to hold out for something that will give me the
same sense of excitement and fun and energy. If I were 10 or 15 years older, I obviously would be staying here," said Halbreich, 46.
He said he wanted to "accelerate his career" and would be pursuing opportunities in or out of the newspaper industry.
Robert W. Mong Jr.
Jeremy L. Halbreich
"I see no reason why we can't have our papers in both locations, no matter how close they are."
?(Editor & Publisher Web Site:http:///www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 19, 1998) [Caption]


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