The company will significantly alter its organization, disolving its current divisions—publishing, broadcast and interactive media—and putting all under single leaders in five geographic markets.
Media General announced today that effective July 1, 2009, the company will alter its organizational structure, shifting from its current three division structure—publishing, broadcast and interactive media—to five geographic markets. All properties in a given market will report to a market leader regardless of platform. The company already manages its Florida market in this manner.
“Media General’s strength is derived from its markets. Structuring our business along market lines will provide an even closer connection to our customers, accelerate our Web-First strategy and speed decision-making across the enterprise,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer. “We will be better able to pursue new opportunities to serve customers beyond our traditional market boundaries, especially using digital media,” said Mr. Morton.
The following Media General executives have been named president, market leader, for these five market segments. They will report to Reid Ashe, chief operating officer:
James A. Zimmerman, currently president of the broadcast division, has been named president of the Virginia/Tennessee market segment, which had 2008 revenues of approximately $235 million.
John R. Schueler, who is currently president of the Florida Communications Group, will continue in this role. In 2008, the Florida market had revenues of approximately $215 million.
John R. Cottingham, senior vice president, broadcast stations, will head Media General’s Mid-South market, which includes South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. In 2008, the Mid-South market had revenues of approximately $170 million.
James R. Conschafter, senior vice president, broadcast stations, will oversee North Carolina, which last year had revenues of approximately $105 million.
Richard E. Rogala, currently vice president and general manager at WCMH in Columbus, Ohio, will oversee Ohio and Rhode Island properties, which last year generated revenues of approximately $62 million.
Starting with its third quarter 2009 earnings report, Media General’s operating segments will be the five geographic markets. There will also be a sixth segment, Interactive Advertising Services, which will include the results of Blockdot, Inc., DealTaker.com and NetInformer. Media General will reclassify prior-year results to conform to the new structure.
As part of the market-focused structure, a new position, group vice president, growth and performance, will report to Mr. Morton to further intensify the company’s focus on digital media opportunities and operational excellence initiatives. James F. Woodward, currently vice president, corporate human resources, has been named to the new position. C. Kirk Read has been named president, digital media, and will report to Mr. Woodward. Mr. Read will continue to lead the team responsible for creating online products and services and developing Internet partnerships. Also reporting to Mr. Woodward will be Dale B. Lachniet, president, newspaper production and distribution, and Ardell Hill, president, broadcast services. Succeeding Mr. Woodward as vice president, corporate human resources is Robert E. MacPherson, who is currently president, community newspapers.
H. Graham Woodlief, Jr., 64, president of Media General’s publishing division, plans to pursue his long-planned retirement, effective July 1, 2009. “Graham has contributed significantly to the growth and success of Media General in his 47 years with the company. We look forward to his help with our transition to the market structure before he pursues his long-standing plans to retire,” Mr. Morton said.