Denver Newpaper Agency CEO, COO named

Wed, June 28, 2000 by Tim Stautberg

DENVER – The E. W. Scripps Company and MediaNews Group Inc. have selected two newspaper management veterans to fill the top positions at the recently created Denver Newspaper Agency, effective July 17. Kirk MacDonald, vice president for Hearst Newspapers, and formerly executive vice president and general manager of The Denver Post, has been named president and chief executive officer. MacDonald will have overall responsibility for the agency.Jeff Hively, vice president of newspaper operations for Scripps, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer. Hively will oversee the day-to-day operations of the agency. Scripps, parent company of the Denver Rocky Mountain News, and MediaNews Group, parent company of The Post, created the Denver Newspaper Agency to handle all of the business operations of the two newspapers under provisions of the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970. An application seeking approval for the arrangement, known as a joint operating agreement, is pending before the U.S. Attorney General. The agreement calls for the two newspapers to maintain independent and competitive editorial operations.MacDonald and Hively will be planning for the implementation of the joint operating agreement while the matter is pending before the Attorney General. “When we decided to pursue this joint operating arrangement, we knew that leadership would play a crucial role in its success,” said William R. Burleigh, chairman and chief executive officer for Scripps. “Great care has been taken to find two top-notch newspaper executives with the depth of experience, wisdom and industry knowledge that will be needed to guide this enterprise into existence. In my opinion, Kirk and Jeff embody those qualities.” William Dean Singleton, president and CEO of MediaNews Group, said, “Kirk MacDonald not only knows the newspaper industry inside and out, he knows and understands what’s important to the Denver community. Having lived and worked here for nearly 10 years, Kirk knows first hand what makes Denver click and will be sensitive to the community’s needs. His leadership capabilities, knowledge of the advertising community and marketing sense, combined with Jeff’s operating skills, are precisely what’s needed to make this joint operating agreement a model of success.”MacDonald, 44, has been vice president/newspapers for Hearst since 1998, when he was recruited to fill a corporate senior management role supporting the company’s 12 newspapers. MacDonald moved to Hearst after nine years at The Post, during which time he served in a variety of management roles. He joined the newspaper in 1989 as director of advertising and was named vice president of advertising later that same year. In 1993, MacDonald was promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing, a position he held for two years before being named executive vice president and general manager.“This joint operating agreement between the News and The Post has a different look and feel than any that have come before it,” MacDonald said. “Both newspapers will continue to be published daily in the morning in two different formats and will continue to compete aggressively for readers and editorial superiority well into the new century. As a result, the JOA is effectively positioned to maximize the potential of each newspaper and to serve the interests of the community, the Denver Newspaper Agency, and its owners and employees.”Hively, 46, has been vice president of newspaper operations for Scripps since 1994, during which time he oversaw key aspects of the company’s acquisition and assimilation of the business functions of the former Harte-Hanks newspapers. Hively joined Scripps in 1978 as circulation manager for the company’s newspaper in Evansville, Ind. He later held the same position at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. In 1989 he was promoted to director of corporate development for Scripps. In 1992 he was named director of circulation for the company’s newspaper division.“I view the creation of this agency to be the best way to preserve two independent newspaper editorial voices in the community,” Hively said. “It will be incumbent on us, as its first managers, to carefully guide the transition of the business functions of the News and The Post into a single operating unit.”The E.W. Scripps Company operates 20 daily newspapers, including the Denver Rocky Mountain News and the Boulder Daily Camera; 10 broadcast television stations; three TV networks, Home & Garden Television, Food Network and Do It Yourself; and a TV programmer, Scripps Productions. The company also operates United Media, a worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics, and the Scripps Howard News Service. Scripps operates 31 revenue-producing Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.MediaNews Group Inc. is the nation’s seventh largest newspaper company. MediaNews publishes 51 daily newspapers and 127 non-daily publications in 13 states with daily circulation of more than 2 million, and non-daily circulation in excess of 2 million. MediaNews is a privately held company with headquarters in Denver. Its flagship newspaper is The Denver Post.