Howe Plans to Build a National Media Company.
In a surprise statement issued yesterday by Montgomery Newspapers, Arthur W. Howe announced that he has resigned as publisher of the Pennsylvania-based publishing chain. Howe says he is leaving Montgomery to “build a national media company, focusing on urban newsweeklies, with backing from a national investment firm.”
The Pennsylvania-based Montgomery owns nearly 30 publications, including suburban weeklies, specialty magazines, and the 112,000-circulation AAN paper Philadelphia City Paper.
Howe has been bullish on the alternative newspaper business ever since Montgomery bought the City Paper in 1997. “I absolutely believe in the future of alternatives. I believe it’s the most exciting area of publishing, period,” he says. In June, he was elected to the AAN Board of Directors as Public Relations/Marketing chair.
Although he declines to disclose the nature of his new venture or the identity of his financial backers, Howe is quick to praise his new business partners: “They are the best there are; they are natural partners in the business.”
Howe remains a part-owner and a director of Metroweek Corp., Montgomery’s parent company, and says he doesn’t plan to leave the Philadelphia area.
Elizabeth Hunt Wilson will succeed Howe as publisher. Wilson joined Montgomery in 1989 as marketing director, and was later promoted to vice president and general manager. Paul Curci will continue as publisher of the Philadelphia City Paper.
“While this is emotionally difficult for me to be leaving as publisher at Montgomery, I think that the timing is excellent to pursue the strategy of building a national communications company,” says Howe. “This is a great opportunity.”