CNHI adopts regional editor system for its 100-plus newspapers


After experimenting with the structure in the Midwest and South, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. is going all-in on a system of regional editors.

CNHI announced the expanded news leadership structure for all of its more than 100 newspapers.

The aim, CNHI said, was “enhancing content quality, audience engagement and collaboration” among its newspapers.

The announcement of the regional editor system was made by Bill Ketter, CNHI’s senior vice president for news, and Kayla Castille, CNHI’s senior vice president for content and digital operations.

In a statement, they said CNHI has been working on the structure for the past six months as part of a project to “strengthen the quality of print and online content produced by CNHI papers, build a rich multimedia culture and step up digital news growth across the company.”

Dennis Lyons, editor of the Sunbury (Pa.) Daily Item, will add the title of national editor and team up with nine regional editors, who will work with CNHI’s local editors on content.

CNHI noted that Lyons helped build Gannett’s network of news sharing while serving as managing editor for local news at USA Today.

James Zachary, editor of the Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times in Georgia, was named deputy national editor. He will also serve as regional editor for CNHI papers in North Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.

CNHI also named digital regional editors. Jeff Illes was named regional digital director, working with local markets in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, to help drive digital revenue growth. He reports directly to Greg Maibach, CNHI’s senior vice president, digital revenue.

Illes, a digital sales and marketing manager and trainer with 20 years of experience, joins CNHI from Advance Local, where he served as senior training manager.

“Jeff brings over a decade of local digital expertise and a deep newspaper background,” said Maibach. “His experience will serve him well in supporting the local markets’ digital performance.”

Chris Davis was also named regional digital director, with responsibilities for markets in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. He also reports directly to Greg Maibach.

“Chris’ 10-plus years of experience working with our local markets, combined with his sales acumen and digital expertise, will allow him to excel in this new role,” said Maibach. “I’m thrilled to have Chris in this key strategic leadership position.”

Davis first joined CNHI in 2007 as a regional online sales manager. He then served as an online classified sales manager before becoming corporate training manager in 2013.

CNHI also announced these regional editor appointments and the states they will be oversee:

Scott Underwood, editor of the Anderson (Ind.) Herald Bulletin: Indiana and Illinois.

Carol Stark, editor of the Joplin (Mo.) Globe: Missouri and Eastern Oklahoma.

Rob Collins, editor of the Enid, (OK) News & Eagle: Western Oklahoma.

Chip Minemyer, editor of the Johnstown (Pa.) Tribune-Democrat: Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio.

David Joyner, editor of the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Massachusetts: Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York.

Damon Cain, editor of The Register-Herald in Beckley, West Virginia: West Virginia.

Nathan Payne, editor of the Traverse City (Mich.) Record-Eagle: Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa.

Susan Duncan, editor of the News and Tribune: in Jeffersonville, Indiana: Kentucky and Tennessee.