Newspaper National Network Appoints Genger VP, Finance
The challenges are considerable, but a new slate of executives may hold the key to a turnaround for the industry consortium, especially if they can tap into digital ad dollars for national campaigns.
To that end, this week NNN’s newly appointed CEO, Ray Chelstowski, revealed his first big executive appointment, naming Marshall A. Genger vice president of finance. The NNN was quick to point out that Genger has helped lead several successful turnarounds within the publishing industry -- most notably at Impremedia, a national Spanish-language media company that bought various ailing titles, including La Opinion and El Diario de La Prensa, and restored them to profitability beginning in 2003. (Impremedia was sold to La Nación, an Argentinean newspaper publisher, in 2012.)
Before Impremedia, Genger also held positions at General Foods Corporation, Gaines Foods, New York Daily News, Random House Value Publishing, and Henry Holt & Co., giving him a background in consumer packaged goods, a key NNN category, as well as publishing.
Chelstowski, who took over the top spot at NNN in July, is also a print veteran, with stints as publisher of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Newsweek. Most recently, he served as vice president of national sales and marketing at Digital First Media, led by CEO John Paton, who previously served as CEO of Impremedia.
Chelstowski and Genger have their work cut out for them.
National advertising has taken its lumps along with other big newspaper ad categories: from a peak of $7.91 billion in 2005, total national ad revenues dropped 58% to $3.34 billion in 2012, per the Newspaper Association of America, which administers NNN, though not all these revenues went through NNN. However, even steeper declines in other categories -- principally classifieds, which fell 73.2% to $4.6 billion over the same period -- mean that national advertising contributes a larger chunk of the bottom line for newspapers now than in previous years.