Gannett Names ShortTail’s Payne As Chief Digital Officer

Nearly a year after Chris Saridakis departed as Gannett’s chief digital officer, the company has hired ShortTail Media co-cofounder and ex-CNN.com exec David Payne to replace him.

The move comes as Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has been in the process of rebranding itself as a more digital-centric company and not just a traditional newspaper publisher and broadcaster. The announcement also comes two days after Gannett tapped former NBC Universal (NSDQ: CMCSA) executive Maryam Banikarim as its first CMO.

Apart from the two new hires this week, Pointroll CEO Jason Tafler also just finished his last day at the Gannett rich media subsidiary before taking on the chief digital officer role at Canada’s Rogers Media. Tafler, who succeeded Saridakis as the head of Pointroll three years ago, was replaced by SVP of sales Robert Gatto.

The recent additions—from the new logo on to the new hires—reflects both the improvement in Gannett’s financial situation and the aggressive approach CEO Craig Dubow has taken toward shifting the company’s focus to digital, especially in the mobile and local areas. Like most major media companies, the print side of the business continues to struggle against industrywide declines, while digital has been a particular growth driver, even during the downturn.

Over the past year, Gannett has pursued a number of digital efforts, including experimenting of paywalls at three of its community newspapers, debated whether to charge for its popular USA Today iPad app (early plans were put on indefinite hold as ad inventory on the device continued to sell out, surpassing initial expectations), and it has worked on setting up local integrated marketing units across the country that leverage its expansive footprint, while carving out a separate business from the traditional newspaper/broadcast ad sales.

Sources had previously told paidContent that Gannett had been looking both internally and externally to find a successor for Saridakis, who left the company to become GSI Commerce’s (Nasdaq: GSIC) Marketing Services unit last April.

Given the growing centrality of online video advertising, Payne appears to be a sensible hire. He helped start video ad tech firm ShortTail Media in 2008 and has served as the company’s president and CEO. Before that, he was SVP/GM of CNN.com, which produced and distributed all of CNN’s digital services, including CNN.com, CNN Mobile, CNN.com Live, and CNN Video on Demand.

Related

* Gannett Names NBCU’s Banikarim As Its First CMO
* Gannett Hopes To Give Its Brand ‘A Reset’
* Pointroll’s Tafler Steps Down As CEO; Sales Head Gatto Will Succeed H
* Gannett Tries Out Paywalls At Three Papers
* Gannett Launches Digital Marketing Unit Aimed At Small Business
* Gannett Folds Ripple6 Into Pointroll
* Who Will Replace Gannett’s Saridakis?Nearly a year after Chris Saridakis departed as Gannett’s chief digital officer, the company has hired ShortTail Media co-cofounder and ex-CNN.com exec David Payne to replace him.

The move comes as Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has been in the process of rebranding itself as a more digital-centric company and not just a traditional newspaper publisher and broadcaster. The announcement also comes two days after Gannett tapped former NBC Universal (NSDQ: CMCSA) executive Maryam Banikarim as its first CMO.

Apart from the two new hires this week, Pointroll CEO Jason Tafler also just finished his last day at the Gannett rich media subsidiary before taking on the chief digital officer role at Canada’s Rogers Media. Tafler, who succeeded Saridakis as the head of Pointroll three years ago, was replaced by SVP of sales Robert Gatto.

The recent additions—from the new logo on to the new hires—reflects both the improvement in Gannett’s financial situation and the aggressive approach CEO Craig Dubow has taken toward shifting the company’s focus to digital, especially in the mobile and local areas. Like most major media companies, the print side of the business continues to struggle against industrywide declines, while digital has been a particular growth driver, even during the downturn.

Over the past year, Gannett has pursued a number of digital efforts, including experimenting of paywalls at three of its community newspapers, debated whether to charge for its popular USA Today iPad app (early plans were put on indefinite hold as ad inventory on the device continued to sell out, surpassing initial expectations), and it has worked on setting up local integrated marketing units across the country that leverage its expansive footprint, while carving out a separate business from the traditional newspaper/broadcast ad sales.

Sources had previously told paidContent that Gannett had been looking both internally and externally to find a successor for Saridakis, who left the company to become GSI Commerce’s (Nasdaq: GSIC) Marketing Services unit last April.

Given the growing centrality of online video advertising, Payne appears to be a sensible hire. He helped start video ad tech firm ShortTail Media in 2008 and has served as the company’s president and CEO. Before that, he was SVP/GM of CNN.com, which produced and distributed all of CNN’s digital services, including CNN.com, CNN Mobile, CNN.com Live, and CNN Video on Demand.

Related

* Gannett Names NBCU’s Banikarim As Its First CMO
* Gannett Hopes To Give Its Brand ‘A Reset’
* Pointroll’s Tafler Steps Down As CEO; Sales Head Gatto Will Succeed H
* Gannett Tries Out Paywalls At Three Papers
* Gannett Launches Digital Marketing Unit Aimed At Small Business
* Gannett Folds Ripple6 Into Pointroll
* Who Will Replace Gannett’s Saridakis?

Original Link: http://feeds.paidcontent.org/~r/pcorg/~3/AVN98x1Z9Zw/

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