Friday, January 21, 2011

Reno | Publisher Ted Power leaving for Des Moines

The Reno Gazette-Journal chief executive will be running the new Design Studio based at The Des Moines Register, one of five newspaper page production hubs now in the works, according to a memo I've just obtained. Power recently made headlines after a DUI arrest and subsequent sentencing. Short iPhone post; more to come.

[Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET with text of memo, below.]

From: Green, Rick (Des Moines)
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 3:10 PM
Cc: Hollingsworth, Laura; Legler, Phil; Harvey, Julie A.; Castro, Greg; Johnson, Kevin (DSM); Hall, Kevin; Klootwyk, Dotti; Clark, Ann
Subject: Hiring of our Design Studio Director

I am happy to announce that Ted Power, a longtime journalist, general manager and president/publisher in Gannett, is joining The Des Moines Register family as our Design Studio Director. He will report to me and will oversee all operations related to our studio, which launches later this year. Ted will meet with the other studio directors next week in McLean, but won’t be permanently on-site in Des Moines until early March.

I can’t tell you how excited I am that Ted will join our team. He is a battle-tested journalist, innovative manager and talented leader whose career stretches from Tennessee to Louisiana to Nevada. He’s a Virginia native who spent 23 years at our sister newspaper, The Tennessean, in Nashville tackling sports, the copydesk and a variety of other positions, including ME/Sports.

I have known and worked with him on various projects for more than 15 years, dating back to his tenure as GM and editor of two successful suburban initiatives in Nashville. He was a remote adviser when I was launching a suburban initiative in counties north of Cincinnati when I was at The Enquirer. And we reconnected in the past 15 months, tackling several Corporate ventures while I was in Palm Springs.

In 2003, Ted became president and publisher at Gannett newspapers in Louisiana before becoming a group vice president. He moved to Reno in 2007 where he has been president/publisher of the Gazette-Journal.

As the Design Studio initiative was taking shape, Ted -- eager to return to a newsroom setting -- raised his hand. He recognized the opportunity to build something special from the ground up, and we began discussing the opportunity here in Des Moines shortly after I accepted the editor’s position. He’s a true pro -- someone with a wealth of experience who embraces collaboration and shares our collective passion for excellence.

Ted also has strong family ties to Iowa. His wife, Kathy Kirby Power, is a Des Moines native. She graduated from St. Anthony’s School, Dowling High School and the University of Iowa. Her mother, brothers, sister and other relatives still call Des Moines home.

You may see him here for a brief visit in early February. Please, join me in welcoming him.

I am continuing the interview process for the No. 2 spot inside the Studio -- the creative director -- and hope to make a decision shortly about that position. Ted will be assisting me in that search, starting next week. Stay tuned for more announcements.

If you have questions, please, don’t hesitate to find me.

Thank you, RAG


  1. I have a hunch about who will replace Power, too.

  2. Foster Brooks??

  3. Publisher to Design Director. WTF? I don't think the perks will be the same.

  4. I'll drink to that announcement!
    Oh...on second thought

  5. Well, now I DON'T have a hunch on Power's replacement. Anyone got an idea?

  6. Idea? No one Gannett management has one it appears. defines idea --any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.

    Need a new noun for what these clowns are thinking up.

  7. Leslie Hurst?

  8. I love memos. From this one:

    The Des Moines Register "family." And: "Ted -- eager to return to a newsroom setting -- raised his hand."

  9. Leslie Hurst = inside joke of the Barb Henry/Dave Hunke genre.

  10. I'm happy for Ted Power and more respectful than ever of his new boss, Mr. Green.
    It's apparent that Rick walked onto the battlefield, lifted a wounded soldier from the ground and carried him to safety. So it is that a dedicated warrior gets to fight on.
    My bet is that Ted will respond with first-class work, soon putting his embarrassing mistake behind him.
    Gannett will likely benefit from this re-allocation of talent. It's a touch of class from a company sorely in need of an image upgrade. It's a tiny step toward creating a supportive company culture that is both demanding as hell and understanding of human frailities. Even among those in its top ranks.
    Big picture, strategic thinking, I say.

  11. What's the Hunke/Henry genre? From what I hear, those two are as different as they can be. Oil and water, as they say. A Hunke/Stier genre makes more sense if you're using faces from the past to project the future. Sadly, those visionaries seemed to play second-fiddle to the likes of Bobby "The Cutter" Collins. Bobby's budget reviews were like Sherman's march through Georgia at the end of the Civil War. Some called Bobby "Mr. Ready, Shoot, Aim!" As Bobby was ceremoniously decorated for ripping the hearts and souls from many once-proud newsrooms, class-acts like Henry and Stier were quietly slipping out of sight. Looking back, that was the beginning of the end for GCI.

  12. Nothing but good wishes Ted. Maybe we can take one lap around McCarren with the gang!

  13. This is hilarious. Does Green think we buy into this? How dumb does he think people are? It appears The Des Moines Register got a man with a huge shovel.

  14. In response to 6:12
    I can barely stop laughing. You ought to get into humor:

    "It's apparent that Rick walked onto the battlefield, lifted a wounded soldier from the ground and carried him to safety. So it is that a dedicated warrior gets to fight on."

    I am rolling on the floor. Stop it, man. There's more:

    "It's a touch of class from a company sorely in need of an image upgrade. It's a tiny step toward creating a supportive company culture that is both demanding as hell and understanding of human frailities. Even among those in its top ranks.
    Big picture, strategic thinking, I say."

    My stomach hurts and my jaws are aching. Thanks for a good laugh.

  15. "In response to 6:12"

    Is it so hard to get the right time IDs to go with what's written?

  16. This seems a very humane thing to do.

    Heck, half the people who post here sound like they're drunk, so you think there'd be some compassion.

    I support the move. Good luck to all involved.

  17. Ted is a great person. Rick is even better. I wish all the best to both of them. Wow. Thank goodness for this blog or we would know NOTHING

    As for the person making fun of what Rick said, go home. This is class, which you would obviously never understand.

  18. You still know nothing, 2:08.

  19. Shouldn't a design center chief outrank any paper's EE? At the very least, why is the design center chief reporting to the EE in Des Moines?

    The GPC chief doesn't report to Laura Hollingsworth, and she's in the same building. GPC reports to Austin Ryan.

    Design centers should report to Mary, no?

    It's important because who controls the budget controls the work. If the Des Moines Register is in charge and RAGBRAI is especially scintillating this year, resources could be moved and suddenly St. Cloud gets a paper with the same story on six pages.

    I doubt that DMR sales reps get any more love from GPC than any other paper, because they're in the same building. Why would they? They've got different bosses.

  20. "Shouldn't a design center chief outrank any paper's EE?"

    Step away from the keyboard. You are too stupid to own a computer.

  21. I think 6:18's is a reasonable question.

    Now, having said that, other than the local EE, I don't know another person the design center director could report to -- unless another level of bureaucracy were created.

    Currently, the head of the copy desk reports to the local EE. So, this structure is similar.

    The studio director can't report to Kate Marymont, head of the news department, because she can't be expected to micromanage to that degree. In a fast-moving environment of deadlines, the director needs someone who can help triage in a news emergency.

    For example, suppose there's an early evening tornado in community X, and a mayor resigns in community Y, and there's a huge shoot-em-up in Z -- all requiring, big, blow-out presentation treatment?

    Also, wouldn't that situation require some decisions about moving around advertising on inside pages to make room for more news coverage? Who coordinates that?

  22. Dean Martin would be a good choice.

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  24. C'mon. That letter is a joke, right? Please tell me it is a joke.
    This Gannett outfit is getting weirder by the minute.

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  26. Jim has shared some illuminating info lately on this blog, often provoking meaningful discussions between a wide range of Gannett followers.
    The stuff about corporate bonuses, furloughs, layoffs and the new design centers have provoked some angry, sarcastic and mean-spirited comments. Jim leaves just enough in to show the breadth of emotions. Not easy to do.
    My bet is that this blog is going to continue to grow in sophistication, and that the snipers and name-callers are eventually going to drop out of sight.
    The crude, ya-wanna-step-into-the-alley types already seem out-of-place here. Some can't finish a sentence without demonizing someone. And then there are the ones you can tell resent newsrooms and the snobbish editors who run them.
    "I ain't much with words, but I can break your back with numbers," I've heard said. And that guy wasn't kidding, I assure you.
    Thanks, Jim, for keeping the conversations going. I will send some dough as soon as GCI pops over $20 again. Should've sold at $50.

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  30. Power's faux Pas gets the shaft.

    no comments permitted.

  31. 6:18 back - Sorry if I'm too stupid to own a computer. As it turns out, Columbia does hand out degrees like bumper stickers.

    Jim sees my point. Now, the page designer reports to an editor. However, if there are three major events, putting a centralized design chief under just one community's EE gives that EE a much larger say in what gets covered. "I write your reviews!"

    It's not the breaking news situations - it's the day-to-day 'they get more love than us' cryfests that will suck the efficiency out of the design centers.

    A whole new level of bureaucracy isn't needed, just one more direct report to Marymont who manages the five design chiefs would do it.

    The Chief Design Chief should stop some of the pissing contests. And honestly, you need some sort of corporate governance anyway - these centers have to be redundant in case of emergency, papers in six states can't be late because a transformer blows up in New Jersey.

    Design centers aren't the first consolidated service we've created, or even the fifth. Why is the wheel being reinvented?

  32. Jim: However did you resist the headline:

    Reno Power Outage

  33. With a mugshot like Powers i see why publishers at Gannett newspapers dont know what the hell is going on.

  34. Gannett's handling of this position hire is a P.R. disaster in the eyes of a good many members of the design community. The company searches among the best and brightest in design, then picks a publisher who's run afoul of Corporate and needs to be moved? This simply shows it's business as usual. Very, very disappointing.

  35. Any word on the replacement? I can't find a staff list on their site to see if the post's been filled.

  36. The post hasn't been filled. A candidate was at the paper today, but I don't now his/her name. As well, West Group President John Zidich, who also is publisher of The Arizona Republic, also was on site in Reno today.


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