MONTGOMERY, Ala. — CNHI, the parent company of the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press, has announced an expanded news leadership structure aimed at enhancing content quality, audience engagement and collaboration among its more than 100 newspapers.
Dennis Lyons, editor of the Sunbury Daily Item in Pennsylvania, will add the title of national editor and team up with nine regional editors, who will work with the company’s local editors to deliver content readers want, need and value.
Jim Zachary, editor of the Valdosta Daily Times in Georgia, will become the deputy national editor. He will also serve as regional editor for CNHI papers in North Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.
Other regional editor appointments include:
- Scott Underwood, editor of the Anderson, Indiana, Herald Bulletin: Indiana and Illinois.
- Carol Stark, editor of the Joplin, Missouri, Globe: Missouri and Eastern Oklahoma.
- Rob Collins, editor of the Enid, Oklahoma, News & Eagle: Western Oklahoma.
- Chip Minemyer, editor of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Tribune-Democrat: Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio.
- David Joyner, editor of the North Andover, Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune: Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York.
- Damon Cain, editor of the Beckley, West Virginia, Register-Herald: West Virginia.
- Nathan Payne, editor of the Traverse City, Michigan, Record-Eagle: Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa.
- Susan Duncan, editor of the Jeffersonville, Indiana, News and Tribune: Kentucky and Tennessee.
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.
They noted 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.
During the project, Lyons served as regional editor for CNHI papers in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and Zachary had the same role for North Florida and Georgia.
“The project was a wonderful success, meeting our quality and culture change benchmarks,” said Donna Barrett, CNHI president and chief executive officer. “Now we are integrating all CNHI newspapers into the process by making wider use of the leadership and journalism skills of the regional editor model.”
”It is important for newsrooms to share good ideas on how to serve their audiences across platforms,” said Castille. “Great content is key to our future, and this system will help our newsrooms achieve even more success in the digital era.”
Ketter said regional editors will allow CNHI to put greater focus on training for individual newsrooms, improve the quality of local news in print and online, and expand news-sharing initiatives involving regional and CNHI-wide projects.
He said the new structure is driven by editors with a passion for community journalism that makes a difference, noting that Lyons, who will lead the regional editors’ team, helped build Gannett’s network of news sharing while serving as managing editor for local news at USA Today.
CNHI is one of the nation’s leading publishers of local news and information, operating newspapers, websites and specialty publications in more than 110 communities in 23 states. CNHI, a Raycom Media company, is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.