John Celestino, regional executive for CNHI newspapers in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, died Friday, Jan. 26. He was 63.
Celestino, who lived in Lewiston, New York, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte. Police received a call at 11:35 a.m. from the Lewiston Artpark regarding an unresponsive person in a parked car at the venue’s parking lot.
Celestino oversaw newspaper operations of three New York newspapers: The Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, and the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.
He also served as regional executive and group publisher for CNHI’s North of Boston Group: The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, The Salem News, Gloucester Daily Times, Newburyport Daily News, Andover Townsman, Haverhill Gazette and Derry, New Hampshire, News.
Donna Barrett, CNHI president and CEO, described Celestino as an accomplished and valued company executive.
“John was a shining star for our company and we are devastated,” said Barrett. “His positive energy was the driving force behind his success with the newspapers in his region. He brought out the best of everyone on his team and I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. He was a kind, thoughtful, wonderful man who was devoted to this business.”
A native of the Philadelphia area, Celestino’s media career included advertising, circulation and marketing executive positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Daily News, Philadelphia Metro, Atlantic City Press and Brainworks Software in Sayville, New York.
He joined CNHI in May of 2017 as publisher of the Niagara Falls and Lockport papers.