Montgomery Publisher Brown is history; what’s up?

Cheryl Lindus (left), advertising director at the Springfield News-Leader in Missouri, has replaced Scott Brown as publisher of the Montgomery Advertiser in Alabama. Gannett’s bare-bones announcement says only that Brown “resigned.” One of my readers says: “He slashed the shit out of our paper. This is yet another example of how slashing doesn’t yield positive financials.”

Got details on the latest executive shuffle? Leave a note in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Related: In Montgomery, watchdog reporting on a budget, and Calling Louisville: What’s the story on Roegner?

12 Responses to “Montgomery Publisher Brown is history; what’s up?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I’m a regular reader and a former loyal Gannett employee.

    As for the change, it was time. Actually, it was time about 3-4 years ago. However, I think the best thing for the paper, and ultimately the community, would be another owner. I think CNHI could be what the paper needs. Don’t gasp. A few years agao, I would have shuddered at that thought.
    But it’s time to infuse local blood into the Advertiser again. It needs management that has a true stake in and committment to the readership/community it serves.

    Again, no disrespect to Gannett. It’s just disappointing to see what the paper has become after knowing what it used and can be.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    “Tucson Citizen Editor and Publisher Michael A. Chihak will retire July 3 after eight years overseeing the Citizen and 38 years in the news and information business.
    Chihak said Friday that his decision to retire from the Citizen and its parent corporation, Gannett Co. Inc., came after much thought and deliberation and with mixed emotions.”

  3. Anonymous Says:

    She scares me!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Chihak is indeed leaving the Tucson Citizen. He is actually one of the good guys and he’s deeply rooted here in Tucson. I would hope that corporate would replace him with someone else local, but I doubt it will happen. The Citizen is an afternoon paper, and it is facing the same downhill slide that has been clobbering PM dailies across the nation. Chihak has tried pretty much everything to combat this. Nothing has worked. Circulation continues to slide. The saving grace for the Citizen has been the JOA with the Arizona Daily Star. The Star is the town’s morning paper and has nearly four times the circ of the Citizen. It wasn’t always like this; years ago, the Citizen was the king of this town. But like most afternoon papers, it’s seen its fortunes go south. This is something I don’t blame on Chihak, since he has tried nearly everything imaginable. I worry about what the change at the publishers position will bring, especially given Gannett’s slash and burn transition of late.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Normally, when a publisher resigns, they either have a great job to go to…or they were not making the numbers.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Oh Lord.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    LOL! At least this time the announcement didn’t read: Left to start his own business or some other excuse! There were so many resignations that is was even hard for the executives to find new excuses. ROFLOL!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Be afraid, Montgomery. Be very afraid. If you are close to being able to get out with the pensions frozen, DO IT! DO IT NOW! It will not be pretty there when Big Cheryl comes to town.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    CNHI as a better fit for Montgomery? That’s beyond absurd. There are plenty of local folks working at the paper, and if anything, the paper has gotten more local in its coverage over the past years. CNHI has no regard for quality news coverage. That company will just slash and burn in a way that will make anything Gannett has done look tame by comparison.

    The larger issue here is that there seems to be a concerted effort by Gannett to get rid of many long-time publishers, some of whom are quite good and committed to their communities. (Brown is an example of this. Chihak is another, BTW) The publishers are being ordered to cut, cut and cut. But after years of this, there’s precious little to do without fundementally harming the product. The result is that you are seeing folks pushed into complex positions they aren’t ready for or for which they have no training. That’s not making the franchise stronger. It’s getting to a number, even if it means harming the product.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I guess I don’t understand what “the number” even means anymore.

    The only equation I see is:

    This month’s expenses < last month's expenses = good It’s no way to save anything.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I still stand by my assertion. It’s time for a new owner. CNHI would not be worse. You don’t think more of an investment would be made if it contributed to the coffers of the Retirement Systems of Alabama? Come on.

    The Advertiser has been cut to the bone–from a staffing and product standpoint. It’s disgraceful to look at that building vs. what comes out of it. The region deserves better.

    Sure, local people work there. What they are not doing is running it.

    The one advantage this publisher has is that she did work with Bookstaver. So, she’ll come in with some history.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Word is Lindus already reached out to the crack editing team of Marilyn and Jack Mitchell about returning to Montgomery or maybe another paper in the region.

    That would be the same Marilyn Mitchell who abruptly “resigned” from the Advertiser a few years ago, then rather spectacularly imploded as state editor of the Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock last year.


    She sells real estate now, FWIW.

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