Digital First Media, the new company that runs MediaNews and Journal Register Co. properties, has named its leadership team. Jeff Bairstow, who was Journal Register's chief financial officer, will run daily operations for all news outlets as president of Digital First Media. Jim Brady, who was named editor-in-chief of Journal Register Co. earlier this year, now has the same title for Digital First Media. (Brady has done some consulting for Poynter.) The executive editor is David J. Butler, who has been VP of news for MediaNews and editor of the San Jose Mercury News.The full release:

Digital First Media Announces Key Executive Appointments

Advisory Board Named for Digital First Media

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New York, NY – Digital First Media, which jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company, announced today the appointments of key executives in sales, content and operational positions.

“With today’s announcement we are putting into place the very best team to lead both MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company in implementing our Digital First strategy,” said John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media. “I am excited about the depth and breadth of talent we have assembled from both companies as we continue to work to serve our communities and growing audience. Like all legacy media companies making this important transition to Digital, we have a long way to go to fulfill that promise. Today marks an important first step.”

Jeff Bairstow was named President of Digital First Media. Mr. Bairstow, joined Journal Register Company in 2010 and was, until recently, Journal Register Company’s Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Mr. Bairstow – who was also named President of MediaNews Group – will oversee daily operations across Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage the knowledge of these two companies – both in traditional journalism and digital product development – into a unified leadership team that will drive the necessary digital transformation to power our growth,” said Mr. Bairstow.

Ron Mayo was named Chief Financial Officer of Digital First Media. Mr. Mayo will retain his duties as CFO of MediaNews Group in addition to his new role.

Named as Executive Vice Presidents of Digital First Media were:

  • Jerry Grilly, who will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Denver Post; Steve Rossi, who is responsible for the company’s California operations; and Tom Wiley, who has served as a group publisher for Journal Register Company.
  • Arturo Duran, who joined Journal Register Company in 2010 as Executive Vice President for Digital, was named Chief Digital Officer.
  • Kirk MacDonald, who has served as The Denver Post’s Executive Vice President of Advertising, Marketing and Digital Sales since July 2009, was named Executive Vice President of Sales. Adam Burnham, who has served as Journal Register Company’s Vice President of Local Sales, was named Senior Vice President of Local Digital Sales.
  • William Higginson, who has worked for Journal Register Company since its founding and most recently served as President, was named Executive Vice President of Operations.

Jim Brady, who was named Journal Register Company’s Editor-in-Chief earlier this year, was named Editor-in-Chief of Digital First Media. David J. Butler, who has served as Vice President of News for MediaNews Group and Editor of the San Jose Mercury News, was named Executive Editor.

Named as Vice Presidents of Digital First Media were: Jonathan Cooper, who recently served as Vice President of Content for Journal Register Company; Sara Glines, who recently served as Vice President of Field Operations for MediaNews Group; and Joe Miller, who has served as Journal Register Company’s Vice President for Real Estate, was named Vice President for Real Estate.

Bob Mason, who has served as Journal Register Company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2010, has been named Chief Technology Officer for Digital First Media.

Robert Monteleone, who has served Chief Human Resources Officer for Journal Register Company, was named Chief Human Resources Officer for Digital First Media.

Along with the management appointments, Mr. Paton also announced appointments to the Digital First Media Advisory Board. Named to the Advisory Board were:

  • Jeff Jarvis, Associate Professor and Director of the Interactive Journalism program and the new business models for news project at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.
  • Emily Bell, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
  • Jay Rosen, Ph.D, professor and former chair of the journalism program at New York University.

Mr. Jarvis, Ms. Bell and Mr. Rosen had previously served as members of Journal Register Company’s Advisory Board.

About Digital First Media
Digital First Media is headquartered in New York City and jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company. Digital First Media reaches 57 million Americans each month through more than 800 multi-platform products across 18 states.