Jerry Grilly, the president and CEO of the Denver Post, is retiring -- and not for the first time.
Grilly had been lured back to the Post three years ago, shortly after the closure of the Rocky Mountain News, which ended the joint operating agreement that yoked the two papers. It's a different world now -- and a knowledgeable source sees it as an improving one.
Change has been in the air for the past year. In January 2011, Dean Singleton announced that he'd be stepping down as CEO of MediaNews Group, the Post's owner; he remains the firm's executive chairman. Then, in September, after a long search, Journal Register Company director John Paton came aboard as CEO of a new entity whose name, Digital First Media, epitomized the assorted parties' understanding that newspapering must transition in order to survive.
In the months since then, an insider tells us, Paton and his new management team have made great strides toward creating and instituting a bold digital plan -- one that puts action ahead of foot-dragging. As such, our source is optimistic about the future.
The launch of Digital First Media, and the arrival of Paton and plenty of his Journal Register Company associates, put Grilly in a less central role. As such, his departure, on February 10, is unlikely to shake the Post. The new crew's already in place, and they appear to be heading in the right direction.
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Here's the MediaNews Group release about Grilly's retirement:
MediaNews Group Announces Retirement of Jerry Grilly from The Denver Post
DENVER, CO -- MediaNews Group Inc., the nation's second largest newspaper company, announced today the retirement of Jerry Grilly, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Denver Post.
"Jerry is going to be sorely missed," said MediaNews Group CEO John Paton. "Jerry has been a remarkable business leader for our Company in a number of capacities and he has always excelled. We are going to miss his passion and his energy."
Mr. Grilly has served as President and CEO of The Denver Post since March 2009. He was previously named Publisher and President of The Post in 1998 before being named the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of MediaNews Group where he served until 2006.
"I came out of retirement almost three years ago to help MNG, and especially The Denver Post, create the transformational model into the digital world in our efforts to not only survive but thrive in the new and modern digital information age," Mr. Grilly said. "Our team is nationally respected in those efforts and the Digital First Media leadership team brings an even greater effort and vision to accelerate our model. It has been an honor and privilege to work with and serve an incredibly dynamic and talented team."
"Jerry has been vital in building MediaNews and our transformation into a leading news and information source and we are grateful for his years of service and leadership," said Dean Singleton, Publisher of The Denver Post and Chairman of MediaNews Group. "The Denver Post -- our employees and our readers -- will miss Jerry's style, energy and leadership but he has assembled a team that will continue to drive our digital future."
Grilly will remain with The Denver Post through February 10.
MediaNews Group has started an immediate search both internally and externally for Mr. Grilly's replacement. In the interim, all sales functions will report to Kirk MacDonald, Executive Vice President Sales for Digital First Media with business functions reporting to Digital First Media President Jeff Bairstow. Editorial will continue to report to Mr. Singleton in his role as Publisher of The Denver Post.
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More from our Media archive: "Dean Singleton interview about stepping down as CEO of MediaNews Group."