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Thursday, July 23, 2009

AJC has new publisher, again

click to enlarge AJCers, meet the new boss
  • AJCers, meet the new boss

While we at CL are anxiously waiting to see who'll own this newspaper by the end of next month, the folks at the AJC are now already on their third publisher this year.

Here's the part of the release that went out minutes ago:

Cox Media Group announced today Michael Joseph is being promoted to publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), effective immediately. Joseph currently serves as the AJC’s general manager and president. He will continue reporting to Doug Franklin who will continue his role at Cox Media Group as executive vice president.

Actually, none of this should come as a surprise. You may recall that, back in January, AJC employees were told that their longtime publisher, John Mellott, had suddenly "retired" and that Franklin was now their new boss.

Franklin had already earned a reputation as Cox's designated hatchet man, a downsizing specialist who'd overseen mass staff cuts at the company's other two flagship papers, the Dayton Daily News and the Palm Beach Post. And he wasn't coy about why he'd been sent to Atlanta. In his very first staff meeting, he told employees that the AJC was losing $1 million a week and he was there to stem the tide of red ink.

So, having presided over the AJC's third round of staff buyouts this spring, in which the paper trimmed close to 80 reporters, photographers, designers, researchers and editors — reducing its editorial payroll to an all-time low of about 200 — Franklin is off to his next assignment and Joseph is the new guy in charge.

More on Joseph from the press release:

Joseph joined the AJC in April 2009 to oversee all of the company’s business operations, including advertising, marketing, circulation, production and human resources. Prior to joining the AJC, Joseph served as president and CEO of Cox Ohio and publisher of the Dayton Daily News.

He joined Cox Ohio Publishing in 1995 and served a number of roles. While in Dayton, he was responsible for multiple business operations, including advertising sales, distribution, manufacturing, finance, information systems and human resources. He also oversaw the planning, design and operations of Cox Ohio’s Print Technology Center, which produces the company’s four daily and eight weekly newspapers, as well as the regional edition of The New York Times. Prior to joining Cox, he worked for Pioneer Press Newspapers in Illinois.

Meanwhile, Cox continues to divest itself of its many smaller papers. Ealier this week, the media giant announced it had found a buyer for its 13 newspapers in North Carolina.

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