Gannett Announces Strategic Organizational Restructuring

Gannett names Spencer Mandell executive creative director

Company announces two distinct business units: Gannett Media and
Digital Marketing Solutions to drive subscription-led strategy

Gannett today announced a strategic organizational restructuring with the creation of two new U.S. operating business units, Gannett Media and Digital Marketing Solutions (DMS), which will be led by Maribel Perez Wadsworth and Kris Barton as Presidents of each business respectively. The evolved corporate structure is designed to align Gannett’s subject matter expertise and resources with favorable growth opportunities.

“This reorganization ensures our consumer and B2B businesses are strategically optimized for our next stage of growth with incredibly experienced leadership at the helm while championing our culture of inclusion and driving our long-term goals for sustainable revenue and cash flow growth,” said Michael Reed, Gannett Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Improving the efficiency of our operations will enable the acceleration of Gannett’s digital future as a data and technology subscription-led business.”

As President of Gannett Media, Wadsworth will oversee an expansive organization that prioritizes content, news, business-to-business (B2B) and commitment to subscribers while continuing to accelerate Gannett’s digital subscriber growth. She and her team will focus on the subscriber journey, ensuring customer satisfaction and attracting new audiences by optimizing the legacy business to drive print stabilization and digital growth for the media organization with a digital-first lens on all efforts.

Wadsworth is uniquely qualified for this role as she has been an instrumental member of Gannett for more than 25 years, dating back to her start as a reporter at the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. Her business and industry expertise includes running Gannett’s news division overseeing more than 4,000 journalists across more than 230 local news organizations and the flagship publication USA TODAY. In 2015, she was named Gannett’s first Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer and has helped architect Gannett’s digital subscription strategy. She is also a recognized leader in the development of women and minority leaders in the newsroom, currently serves on the board of directors of the Associated Press and Skillshare, and as Chair of the News Media Alliance, and President of the International News Media Association. She also is a trustee of her alma mater, the University of Miami.

“It is both a great privilege and responsibility to lead Gannett Media as we build a strong future,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, President of Gannett Media. “My focus is on strengthening our journalism – this is our mission, and dramatically diversifying our content portfolio for growth – this is our promise as a vibrant, next-generation media company.”

As President of Digital Marketing Solutions, Barton brings a unique mix of business, design and technical acumen to the position. He is dedicated to growing DMS offerings as a differentiated marketing platform. He and his team will further the transformation of the DMS business to ensure loyalty from existing customers who value the platform while attracting new customers to engage with the available digital solutions. This includes building a complementary business model with streamlined, do-it-yourself SaaS offerings for new customer segments.

Barton’s expertise makes him the most equipped to drive the next phase of innovation. He has served as Gannett’s Chief Product Officer since 2017, leading product development for Gannett’s consumer and marketing products. Previously, he led a global team as ReachLocal’s Chief Product Officer overseeing product and technology, receiving dozens of industry awards including Google and Microsoft innovation honors. Barton served as Chief Operating Officer at Nero, a multimedia software company, and was instrumental in developing a strategy that enabled the company to become the largest mobile software developer for Android devices. He held various leadership roles at Microsoft Corporation leading the global teams for across over 50 countries, as well as for Microsoft Office where he also ran incubation teams that converted traditional Microsoft software applications to SaaS solutions pioneering Web 2.0. Barton is a graduate of Brigham Young University.

“It is a great privilege to serve as President of the Digital Marketing Solutions business and work with best-in-class category experts helping drive the future of Gannett, but more importantly, to provide digital solutions for thousands of local businesses across the country,” said Kris Barton, President of Digital Marketing Solutions. “Local businesses are core to the character and economies of our communities around the world, now more than ever. As consumers continue to demand more, we’ll ensure we continue to offer touchpoints and solutions that help propel their businesses and fuel their growth powered by our innovation, data and technology.”

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