Joseph Pepe named president, publisher of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis
Thu, November 03, 2005 by Mark Kroeger
CINCINNATI – Joseph Pepe, an experienced newspaper executive with an extensive background in strategic business planning, marketing and advertising sales, has been named president and publisher of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, effective immediately.The Commercial Appeal is owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company.Pepe comes to Memphis from the Suburban Journals of St. Louis, a group of 38 weekly newspapers and three niche magazines with 420 employees and a combined circulation of 1.2 million. Pepe has served as president of Suburban Journals of St. Louis since 2000. During his tenure, he’s been credited with increasing the community newspaper group’s operating efficiencies, improving the content and graphic design of its publications, expanding advertising market share and achieving double-digit revenue and profit growth. “We believe The Commercial Appeal can be one of the most relevant and dynamic local news organizations in America for many years to come,” said Richard A. Boehne, executive vice president for Scripps and head of the company’s newspaper division. “Joe Pepe has the energy, creativity and experience necessary to guide that great newspaper to continued journalistic and economic success in this adventuresome chapter of media history.”Suburban Journals of St. Louis was owned and operated by Pulitzer Inc. until June of this year when Pulitzer was acquired by Lee Enterprises. Pepe managed the transition resulting from Pulitzer’s acquisition of the community newspaper group in 2000. Before joining Suburban Journals, Pepe worked eight years for Howard Publications Inc. and for The Times, the company’s newspaper in Munster, Ind. From 1991 to 1999 he was corporate director of advertising and marketing for Howard Publications, advising 17 daily newspaper publishers and their marketing managers on organizational development, strategic growth initiatives, budgeting, staffing and operations. In 1995 he took on added responsibilities as senior associate publisher at The Times, serving as the newspaper’s chief operating officer and leading strategic planning and marketing efforts. He was advertising director for The Times from 1991 to 1995.Pepe left Howard Publications and The Times in 1999 to become publisher of the San Bernardino (Calif.) Sun, where he guided the newspaper’s transition as part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which had just been created by MediaNews Group Inc.From 1984 to 1991, Pepe served in a variety of roles with Gannett Co., Inc., including corporate director of customer service; president and chief operating officer at The Tennessean in Nashville; vice president and general manager at the El Paso (Texas) Times; and president and publisher of The Bellingham (Wa.) Herald. Pepe, 49, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught in the executive program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and participated in executive development and management seminars at the American Press Institute. Pepe succeeds John Wilcox, who earlier this year was named publisher of The San Francisco Examiner.About ScrippsThe E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. The company’s portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living, Great American Country and HGTVPro; daily and community newspapers in 18 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics; Shop At Home, which markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers in roughly 55 million U.S. households and online through shopathometv.com; and Shopzilla, the online comparison shopping service that carries an index of more than 30 million products from approximately 55,000 merchants.