Monday, January 14, 2008

Shake Up, Pt. 2: Another MediaNews Exec Steps In

What's going on here?  Close on the heels of last week's replacement of Merc editor Carole Leigh Hutton, the Bay Area shakeup continued today with George Riggs suddenly stepping down from his post as executive of the California Newspapers Partnership. Both he and Hutton have been replaced by high-ranking MediaNews execs from Dean Singleton's inner circle (both are V.P's, one is the Chief Operating Officer of the entire company).

From E&P's Joe Strupp: 

"Asked about speculation that his departure had something to do with the surprise resignation earlier this month of Mercury News Editor Carole Leigh Hutton, whom he hired last year, Riggs said only, 'she is an outstanding journalist and editor, so I was sorry to see her leave.'  Reached by E&P today, Hutton declined comment.

The departure of Riggs came on the heels of Hutton's exit.  The San Jose Mercury News pointed out today, 'Hutton had been appointed by Riggs and had proposed a sweeping transformation of the Silicon Valley newspaper into a three-section publication.'

MediaNews named one if its executives as editor to replace Hutton. It's not completely clear that the Hutton move led, in turn, to Riggs' departure."

It's true, not much is clear. But one thing is for certain: the concentration of high-ranking MediaNews execs has increased significantly in the region in just this first month of 2008 - a year in which we're already seeing an escalating organizing drive in the East Bay and in which contract negotiations are upcoming in the South Bay.

Hold onto your hats, friends, it's going to be a lively year...

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