2 AnnArbor.com execs now at NJ.com, fueling curiosity about Advance’s intentions

AnnArbor.com | ArborWeb
Tony Dearing, chief content officer for AnnArbor.com, is moving to NJ.com. He’ll join his old boss, Matt Kraner, who left his job as CEO of AnnArbor.com to become NJ.com’s president.

AnnArbor.com is where Advance Publications spearheaded its Web-first, print-less strategy, which it expanded to other newspapers in Michigan earlier this year. In May, Advance announced that it would take a similar approach at its newspapers in New Orleans and Alabama, prompting journalists at its papers in Cleveland, New York and New Jersey to worry that they’d be next.

Advance’s cluster of 12 newspapers in New Jersey is its largest group after Michigan. Like the company’s papers in Michigan and Alabama, the New Jersey papers already share an online home, NJ.com. Couple that with the fact that NJ.com will now have two people with experience in Ann Arbor, and, well, I would understand if journalists there are more worried than before.

Kraner became president of NJ.com (a newly created position) in January, prompting ArborWeb’s Vickie Elmer to write in April, “The parent company must like what it’s seeing in Ann Arbor.” She also noted that AnnArbor.com’s print edition had been expanded to restore travel and business sections that had been cut in 2009.

Paula Gardner will now oversee all editorial operations at AnnArbor.com, which the company describes thusly:

AnnArbor.com was launched in summer 2009, building its web presence into what this past winter was measured – with MLive.com —as the top newspaper affiliated website in the U.S. for reach in a local market. It also publishes a newspaper on Thursday and Sunday.

Earlier: Cutting print is a money-loser for Times-Picayune, but cutting staff makes changes slightly profitableEarl Wilkinson says Advance Publications is trying to repair the newspaper business modelNew Orleans’ tech crowd unimpressed by NOLA.com

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