Rochester’s Kane named new Indy Star publisher

Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET. Gannett just announced that Michael Kane (left), vice president of the company’s East Publishing Group and publisher of the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., has been named Interstate Group president, and publisher of The Indianapolis Star. Kane, 49, replaces Barbara Henry, retiring Aug. 1, after the Friday Afternoon Massacre. Kane joined Gannett in 1992, when he was hired as marketing manager at The News Journal in Wilmington, Del. In comments, below, he’s getting good reviews: “Michael is a class act,” one reader says.

Related: the Star‘s story, plus the Democrat and Chronicle‘s

Earlier: Ooh, la, la! Rochester ‘threesome’ a surprise hit. Plus: the Democrat and Chronicle‘s school textbook probe

Fun facts about Babs!
The sex-survey lovin’ Henry has ginormous feet, according to newspaper division President Bob Dickey, who told the Star today: “Michael has huge shoes to fill.”

Rochester: What can you tell Indy about Kane? And who’s going to replace him at the Democrat and Chronicle? Post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Photo: Democrat and Chronicle]

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25 Responses to “Rochester’s Kane named new Indy Star publisher”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Kane is a great guy. His marketing chops are needed in indy.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I second that on Kane and so do all of my colleagues in Lansing. Everyone is happy to have his leading our division. He’s a true innovator who respects the people who work for him, the advertisers and the community. Indy is definitely gaining a great publisher.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I have no connection to Rochester or Indy, but it’s great to here there still are quality managers out there who care about doing a good job.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve never had the pleasure or privilege of working for Mr. Kane, but have been with him in several Gannett-related meetings and he is indeed impressive. People I know who have worked for him ALL respect and admire him.

    Congratulations to Indy!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Michael is a class act.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Just asking: If you consider that every Gannett newspaper has an identical web site and is implementing the same set of alternative publications – how much innovation can any one person truly take credit for?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Kane can take a lot of credit for pushing his employees to be nimble and innovative.

  8. Nick Says:

    Good point, 4:09.

    Good luck to Michael, anyway.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    the web sites aren’t identical. the format of the site is the same.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I worked with Michael Kane in Poughkeepsie, and he was really excellent.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Indy’s gain is Rochester’s loss. Michael is an exceptional leader. If we get a new publisher with half his smarts and energy, we’ll be lucky.

    So anyone have the line on his replacement?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Silverman. Please.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Raw meat for CD Bryan Sturgeon to chew – watch those Circ figures grow!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    how did kane interact with unions?

    a social note: though babs’s original last day was announced as the 1st of august, her good-bye party is tomorrow. guess the building isn’t big enough for both of them.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Dare I say this … but now with Kane’s appointment following Hollingsworth’s appointment perhaps someone (Dickey) is making some sound choices. Kane and Hollingsworth are the type of people who will strive to make this company as good as it can be. Despite the low share price, I for one, am impressed with these promotions. It just proves to me that the company is utilizing the talented people. Despite any difficult decisions that these two will have to make, we should feel blessed that they are in the drivers’ seat.

  16. Jim Hopkins Says:

    All: Please avoid the word “bitch.”

  17. Jim Hopkins Says:

    It’s 2:34 a.m. here. I need to go to bed, so can’t moderate this string anymore. I think we’ve got enough great comments already, so I’m closing this one up for the night.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    5:03 p.m.: OK, stipulated. The web sites aren’t the same, they just “LOOK” the same. Any way you want to slice it, fine….but the point is, it lessens the ability of local news staffers to think creatively. They are stuck filling boxes. If that’s your idea of innovative thinking, well good luck!

    All this is is an example of rattling the birdcage…Have a look at the earnings…the local operating publishers who produced those stellar results are getting rewarded with larger jobs. Again, good luck!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Congratulations Indy, indeed…they didn’t get Buchanan.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I work in production at the Indianapolis Star. I am very aware of all the issues in the industry blah blah. I don’t know what Kane will do; Regarding paper or employee relations. I do know this: I will not disparage Barbara Henry but let me say her personality was not exactly admired. I can only tell you I personally saw Barbara Henry ONCE while working in production. Now I worked nites which may explain some of that. But when Barbara Henry was hired in 2000 as publisher. She was quoted as saying she wanted to personally meet every employee at the Star. After 8 years she never met alot of employees because that quote became somewhat a joke around the company. Now I know publisher busy etc… Producion plant is in different location then main offices. But the publisher could not even make some kind of apearance? Eugene Pulliam would come thru the building from time to time before he became ill and died in 99. s for paper it will be interesting to see what happens. I found another page off google on Kane where he gave a speech at a newspaper association conference. Kane is quoted that online isthe future growth and important but that newsprint should not be ignored and cannot be ignored because it is still the core content. agree and hope Kane generally believes this. Barbara Henry did not come from an advertising.marketing background. Kane evidently does and Henry was not a people person. Bottomline: No one knows future but I can assure you no one is sorry to see Henry leave. If Kane gets rid of Dennis R. I will be impressed.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t forget the appointment of Brad Robertson. Good guy there. The newbies are pretty good.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    The web sites aren’t the same, they just “LOOK” the same. Any way you want to slice it, fine….but the point is, it lessens the ability of local news staffers to think creatively. They are stuck filling boxes. If that’s your idea of innovative thinking, well good luck!

    You were always filling boxes. Every site just had their boxes in slightly different places.

    Blaming the web site templates for lack of innovation is trying to pass the buck.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    …”Blaming the web site templates for lack of innovation is trying to pass the buck….”

    Wrong. I’m not passing the buck at all.

    I’m simply saying that you cannot consider Michael Kane — or any other local publisher — as “innovators” when all they are doing is implementing initiatives, projects, formats, etc., handed to them from the corporate office.

    In case you have noticed, all these “innovations” produced a pretty lousy set of corporate earnings. And the people who brought you those earnings are now getting promoted.

    Makes perfect sense. Not.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Set aside the innovation conversation, which varies from market to market based on the people, the culture, the resources, the relationship with corporate.

    I want to comment on this: “…”Blaming the web site templates for lack of innovation is trying to pass the buck….”

    GO4’s templates and structure and technology approach is horrible for innovation. While part of the concept was to foster innovation and flexibility by allowing sites to leverage content and presentation assets from other sites, achieving that is as much a fantasy as sites being able to share content seemlessly through Saxotech.

    GO4 is a clusterfuck, and the reason why is execution, not intent. There is a fundamental lack of the right skills in the right places at GMTI, Gannett Digital and throughout local markets.

    The new GO4 code is a mess. Gannett Digital and GMTI made some bad founding decisions early on. Resources have been too strained to implement, debug, support or improve the GO4 deployment.

    Virtually every site’s traffic growth has seen slowed, diminished or even reversed since launching the GO4 redesign. While some blame is correctly to be laid at the fact that redesigns upset usage habits, especially of older users, this excuse is way too often cited, especially by folks at Gannett Digital.

    A good redesign should boost traffic, not decrease it. Tons of experiences throughout the Web industry prove this.

    I cannot underscore the cost being felt throughout Gannett local markets in terms of lost opportunity, declining audience growth, staff demoralization and eventually potential slowed gains in market share — all as a result of the new GO4 sites being generally slow, hard to navigate and harder to use.

    Keeping the extent of the problem from being fully realized is the fact that Gannett’s competitive culture means local markets tend to report their successess, not their failures, up to corporate. Monthly reports to corporate are filled with good news about the GO4 impact — the negative realities, obvious to users and employees in local markets — is downplayed or not presented to Digital at all.

    And so, we cling to the tiniest shreds of good news, such as diminutive changes in demographic and dwelltime trendlines, while site after site whose traffic has grown 25%-50% YOY for years on end suddenly find themselves below or flat with last year’s traffic.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Kane is really a good guy. I work with him in Lansing and since he left the paper is now on its 3rd publisher. He is very personable and always had an open door policy. I always felt welcome to stop in and say hello and talk hockey or anything. Complete change from the nut-case Hurst who replaced him.

    I am so glad that I no longer work for the compay. I feel sorry for the ones who stayed and now have their pensions frozen.

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