After proving themselves on the job as general managers for several years, Kathy Barrett and Dave Schmall were both recently named publisher at their respective weeklies, Chico News & Review and Sacramento News & Review.
“They’ve each been doing these jobs for a while now,” says Jeff vonKaenel, majority owner of Chico Community Publishing, which publishes both California papers as well as the Reno News & Review in Nevada. “We typically let someone do the job for a while before we give them the title. This is just more recognition of how much they’ve done.”
VonKaenel, who has been publisher of the two papers, was named president.
“This new title is more appropriate to my duties since both Kathy and Dave have taken over the day-to-day running of the papers,” he says.
Since joining the papers, Barrett and Schmall have added to their quality and profitability, according to vonKaenel.
“I’m extremely happy and proud to be a part of the News & Review’s growth, but this is mostly just a title change,” Schmall says. “It’s certainly not the difference between Heaven and Hell,” he jokes.
Barrett also says she hasn’t noticed much change in her duties since assuming the new title.
“Jeff really allows us a lot of freedom, so I don’t think there will be any change in my responsibilities,” says Barrett. “I love [Chico], so it’s a treat to get this position at a strong paper in a college town. We out-circulate the daily here.”
Barrett joined the 24-year-old Chico News & Review five years ago after working for the Pacific Sun, The Village Voice, and the Advocate*Weekly chain. Schmall joined the 12-year-old Sacramento News & Review after previously serving as advertising director for City Pages (Minneapolis).
Rebekah Gleaves is a staff writer for the Memphis Flyer.