Times-Picayune and Birmingham News to join new regional company
NOLA Media Group and Alabama Media Group, two media companies owned by Advance Local, will join a new regional company for the Southeast, NOLA.com reported Monday.
The Southeast Regional Media Group, a company slated to launch later this year, will encompass properties from NOLA Media Group — which includes The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com — and from Alabama Media Group, which oversees The Birmingham News, The (Mobile, Alabama) Press-Register and The Huntsville Times, according to NOLA.com.
Citing a desire to boost readership and revenue at NOLA Media Group and Alabama Media Group, the report from NOLA.com explains that the reorganization will include a number of high-profile moves from within the two organizations.
Ricky Mathews, the president of NOLA Media Group, will become president of Southeast Regional Media Group. David Francis, executive vice president and associate publisher of NOLA Media Group, will become publisher at NOLA Media Group. Tom Bates, the president of Alabama Media Group, will continue in his current role:
Besides Francis, key executives joining Mathews and Bates in planning the new company will include Jim Amoss, VP of Content for the NOLA Media Group, and Michelle Holmes, VP of Content for Alabama Media Group. Their respective newsrooms will share best practices and work together on occasional enterprise projects, but will continue to operate separately and independently from each other. Other executives joining this effort are Natalie Pruitt, Vice President of Sales for Alabama Media Group and Reggie Marable, Executive VP of Sales for NOLA Media Group.
The creation of a new parent company suggests that Advance is looking to merge some services provided by each of the two properties, said Rick Edmonds, Poynter's media business analyst.
"I read it to say Advance sees opportunities for consolidating business and editing functions in thre contiguous states, and that whatever detractors say about the print-to-digital swing in New Orleans, the company is happy with the job Ricky Mathews has done there," he said.