Gannett Promotes 3 Execs, Focuses On Marketing, Consumer Businesses

Gannett, the publisher that owns USA Today and 109 local news properties, has promoted three executives and reorganized to capitalize on marketing solutions.

This arm also includes SweetIQ, a location-based marketing analytics company acquired by Gannett in April.

Rowlands will focus on growing Gannett’s business-to-business segment, leveraging ReachLocal, SweetIQ and USA Today Network’s national and local brands, which will help Gannett "build an even stronger, high-growth marketing solutions business with Sharon leading this unified business-to-business segment,” stated Bob Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett.

Maribel Perez Wadsworth, currently the company’s chief transformation officer, has been named president of USA Today Network to lead the consumer business, including strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of media brands.

Wadsworth will also become associate publisher of USA Today, in light of John Zidich’s previously announced retirement as president of domestic publishing.

Due to Zidich’s retirement, Gannett Publishing Services (GPS) will now report to Ali Engel, senior vice president/CFO and treasurer at Gannett. GPS operates printing and packaging facilities throughout the U.S.

As part of the new structure at Gannett, Kevin Gentzel’s role as CRO will expand to leading all advertising and marketing solutions revenue in North America.

Kris Barton has been named Chief Product Officer of USA Today Network. He will lead the product organization developing and managing digital platforms and capabilities for the marketing solutions and consumer businesses. Barton was previously chief product officer at ReachLocal.

Gentzel and Barton will report to Rowlands.

“These organizational changes will better position us to further enhance and expand our marketing solutions capabilities fueled by our audience growth and engagement. I am confident this new structure will open up opportunities, enable us to innovate more quickly and support long-term growth,” Dickey stated.

On November 2, Gannett released its third-quarter earnings report, revealing total operating revenue fell 3.6%, from $772.3 million in the same quarter last year to $744.3 million this year. That's short of Wall Street expectations of $763 million.

Revenue from ReachLocal contributed revenue of $93.8 million, up 9% from the previous quarter.

Gannett’s digital advertising revenue rose 4.1% to $102.9 million, while print advertising and circulation revenue declined.

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