Thursday, April 03, 2008

Carroll, Marymont in big digital promotions

Gannett just announced that Jennifer Carroll, one of the prime architects of the Information Center model, has been named vice president of digital content for Gannett Digital; she'll work on new products in the division run by increasingly powerful Chief Digital Officer Chris Saridakis.

Also, Fort Myers News-Press Editor Kate Marymont replaces Carroll, but gets a different title: vice president/Information Center Content in the newspaper division. Marymont won kudos and high-profile news coverage for her Florida paper's role as a test site for the Information Center model, before it was rolled out companywide in late 2006. That model emphasized delivery of news and information to websites and mobile devices first, over the print paper. It's been a cornerstone of the company's flagging strategic plan.

No word on who replaces Marymont in Fort Myers.

Full disclosure: Marymont and I worked together at The Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, before Gannett shut it down amid huge losses in October 1991.

Your thoughts, in the comments section, below. Use this link to e-mail feedback, tips, snarky letters, etc. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right.


  1. I'm happy for both of them. I'm sure they both received hefty raises, too, for these appointments.

    But, really, this isn't going to change a thing unless Gannett starts investing in content delivery and hiring more people to provide more local-local coverage - as well as providing state-of-the-art tools to do so.

    The announcement looks good on paper, and might fool Wall Street, but those of us who work for the company know this is really more of a cosmetic change than anything else.

    The big question I have is: Why the two divisions (Digital and U.S. Community Publishing)? And why the two positions? Shouldn't they be as one?

  2. They should only be as one if the company is going to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

    Only thing I can say is it seems as though Dickey pulled off a real coup dumping Carroll off on the digital guy!

  3. I knew the digital head Saridakis would start moving fast. I hear he is really trying to shake things up in corporate. It is quite refreshing to see. I am also glad to see someone come in and take charge.

    I have worked with Jennifer on a few projects and I think this is a great move for her and for the Digital team. She is a strong leader and clearly gets the digital realm.

  4. I have worked with Kate, and she is solid and sensible. We should all hope that the Powers That Be will allow her to be influential.

  5. Kate is great! Good to see someone with solid news room experience be rewarded. She will make a big difference. As for Jennifer, my experience with her (and it has been broad and far-reaching)is that she parrots what others think and say very well. Her understanding of digital, or for that matter content of any kind,is almost non-existent. She is, however, very good at saying "How high" when someone says jump. It has served her well until now and will, obviously, continue too (at least in the short-term).

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. I like Kate too. I have observed her work and she seems solid. I also think Jennifer is good too, but I wonder if she will be able to handle it in Digital. Rumour is that Saradakis is tough and doesn't take any bullshit.

    Overall, I must say that like the approach of having someone from the newspaper move to digital and focus on content. At least we will be truly represented.

  8. i have worked with both Carroll and Marymont directly for years, so let me just weigh in there.

    i view them both as solid, fundamentally good journalists. they both put front-and-center the things we journalists view as our raison d'etre: first amendment, watchdog, public records, etc. i have consistently watched both of them resist the gravitational pull of profit/loss statements that can cause journalism executives to walk away from these founding principles of our craft. in my mind that's a huge qualification for both.

    one of the big problems Gannett has always had is using its size to its advantage. it's a huge company with holdings in all parts of the country in tv, newspapers, mags, online, etc. that should be a major advantage, especially in selling national advertising but also in sharing technology to support local content. thus far that promise has not been realized. my hope is that these to people, whom i know work very well together, will be able to undo a lot of that. of course, that size is so great and Wall Street's view of big public media companies so dim that i would caution against hopes that any two people can change the stock performance and direction and culture of the company overnight. i'm not sure anything can turn the share price around, but i think the evidence shows both of these women have done a big part to start turning the culture around. that's a big deal.

    i hope these comments don't sound too partisan. i am a journalist, an employee and a shareholder in gannett - so obviously i want this all to work out. but the things i've written above are, to my mind, true, fair and balanced.

    as to the comments throwing either of these two under the bus - my personal experiences defy those remarks. i think it would be wise to give these people a chance to start making some positive things happen.

  9. it's nice to see good people who are genuine and want to help the industry evolve get promoted!

  10. It's disappointing to see some of the less-civil comments towards the top. Jennifer Carroll's quite savvy in the digital space. She knows how to get things done, and I'm betting she's going to flourish in this new role. Eager to see what's next.

  11. It's really sad to see all the snarky comments about Carroll and Marymount. Having been a colleague of Carroll's for years I can tell you she is professional, knowledgeable and always on her game. It's apparent that the negativity is coming from insecure, close-minded individuals.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.