The people of America's Newspapers

World-Herald announces new publisher and general manager

Julie Bechtel, formerly executive vice president of BH Media Group, has been named publisher of the Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald, while Todd Sears, who previously held that position, becomes World-Herald general manager. Bechtel’s previous role included oversight of The World-Herald.

Rana Cash named Savannah Morning News news director, USA TODAY Network Georgia executive editor

Rana Cash has been named news director of the Savannah (Georgia) Morning News, becoming the first African American to lead the Savannah newsroom in the publication’s 170-year history.

Anne Brennan named executive editor of Cape Cod Times

With over three decades of experience in print and digital journalism, Anne Brennan, the former editorial leader at the MetroWest Daily News, has been named executive editor of the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Publisher departs The Meridian Star to focus on other CNHI sites

The Meridian (Mississippi) Star reported this week that its publisher, Bill Atkinson, has departed the newspaper to devote more of his time to sister newspapers in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press name Brian Colligan opinion editor

Brian Colligan, an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of newspaper experience, has been named the opinion editor of The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) and Daily Press in Newport News.

Stephanie Pedersen elevated to president and editor of The News Tribune and Washington State regional editor

McClatchy has announced the promotion of Stephanie Pedersen to president and editor of The (Tacoma) News Tribune and Washington State regional editor of McClatchy's four newsrooms comprising The News Tribune, The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald and the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick. Pedersen will also serve as president of The Olympian, and begin in her new role at the end of June when she relocates to Tacoma.

Lee Enterprises names regional president and director of local sales and marketing in Alabama

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated has announced that Wynn Christian has been named president and director of local sales and marketing for the company’s Alabama region.

Editor named to lead Gannett’s Pennsylvania network

Shane Fitzgerald, executive editor of the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and sub-regional editor for the former GateHouse Atlantic Region, will take on a broader role for the USA Today Network, serving as Gannett’s Pennsylvania editor.

Former GateHouse Media CEO signs on with polling news startup

Kirk Davis, former GateHouse Media CEO, has joined Nashville-based Power Poll, a nonpartisan survey, news and information company, as executive chairman of the board. The announcement comes as the rapidly expanding Power Poll launches its innovative news and survey product with media partners in Atlanta, Miami and Chicago.

Mike Feeley, executive editor of The News Journal and Delaware Online, will take on a broader role for the USA Today Network, serving as Gannett’s South Jersey and Delmarva editor.
Gannett Co. Inc.'s president of sales for the Great Lakes Region will lead the joint business operations of The Detroit (Michigan) News and Detroit Free Press.
Gannett Regional Vice President David Foster is assuming leadership over the advertising sales division of the Spartanburg (South Carolina) Herald-Journal.  Foster currently oversees The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail, as well as the publications in Asheville, North Carolina; Montgomery, Alabama; and Hattiesburg and Jackson, Mississippi.
Lee Enterprises, Incorporated has announced that Wisconsin State Journal Publisher Tom Wiley has been named president and publisher of The Buffalo (New York) News. He succeeds Warren Colville, who has announced that he will retire.
Bernie Heller has been named president and director of local sales and marketing for the Tulsa World in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The appointment is effective immediately. Former Publisher Gloria Fletcher has left the company.
This week, Gannett announced  that Michael McCarter, the executive editor of the Evansville Courier & Press, and Alan Achkar, executive editor of the South Bend Tribune, will partner to oversee the operations and editorial functions of most of Gannett’s media sites across the state, outside of Indianapolis.
Rick Armon has been named editor of The Canton (Ohio) Repository. He most recently served as editor of two other Ohio newspapers: The Daily Record in Wooster and the  Ashland Times-Gazette.
The Tampa Bay Times has named Graham Brink as its next editor of editorials, succeeding Tim Nickens who had previously announced plans to retire at the end of May.
Jimmy Ruff, long-time production manager of The Clanton (Alabama) Advertiser, has retired. His last day was April 30.
H. Brandt "Brandy" Ayers, the small-town publisher who turned The Anniston Star into a voice for integration in the 1960s, died Sunday, May 3, friends and family members say. He was 85. 
Mary Kelli Palka, editor of The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, has also been named the paper’s market leader after Group Publisher Bill Offill announced his departure, effective May 5.
Wick Communication has named Shanna Dickens as publisher of The Daily Iberian (New Iberia, Louisiana).
A. H. Belo Corporation has promoted Katy Murray to executive vice president, reflecting a broader role she has taken on at the parent company of The Dallas Morning News.
With the election of Paul Taylor, there are now 22 members of the Hearst board of directors, elected by the trustees of the Hearst Family Trust.
Gannett Co., Inc. has announced the appointment of Douglas E. Horne as chief financial officer. He succeeds Alison “Ali” Engel, who stepped down at the end of the first quarter.