FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A prominent Florida newspaper executive has been named chief executive officer of Creative Loafing, the alternative newsweekly group, its owner announced today.
Marty Petty, 56, is the former publisher of the St. Petersburg Times and the Hartford (CT) Courant. She will succeed Richard W. Gilbert who has been interim CEO since the reorganized company emerged from bankruptcy this fall under the new ownership of Atalaya Capital Management LP, a New York investment firm.
The news was shared with the Creative Loafing staff today through a memo. Creative Loafing (www.creativeloafing.com) publishes six alternative weekly newspapers and other websites, such as (www.straightdope.com), in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Charlotte, NC, and Tampa and Sarasota, FL.
The announcement of Petty, who began her newspaper career in 1983 at the Kansas City Stay and Times, marks the second significant appointment of a notable news veteran this month; having named James Warren, former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, to the publisher and president post at the Chicago Reader.
“I’m invigorated by the possibilities to deepen relationships with our readers and advertisers and expand our influence in our communities,” Petty said. “The coverage areas which have differentiated and distinguished the alternative press historically may be more important than ever.”
“This is an opportunity to lead a truly unique company in one of the most economically challenging times we have known. But these remain vibrant markets and it’s a wide open field as all media are challenged to redefine themselves to meet consumers changing lifestyles and information needs,” Petty said.
Gilbert described Petty’s expertise as “an unique mix seldom found in one publishing executive. She has solid journalistic values honed from her early career in the newsroom and her long-standing commitment to hard-hitting journalism. All three of her last papers earned Pulitzer Prizes during her leadership. As publisher of two of the nation’s most highly respected newspapers, she has also earned a reputation as a skilled and creative marketing and sales executive who knows how to build strategic alliances to ensure success.”
In addition to her CEO role, Petty joins the company’s board of directors. Gilbert, who has been at the helm of the business since Atalaya took ownership on August 25, will continue as a member of the board as well.
Creative Loafing is headquartered in Tampa, FL. It publishes six alternative newsweeklies: the Chicago Reader (www.chicagoreader.com) the City Paper in Washington DC (www.washingtoncitypaper.com), Creative Loafing/Atlanta, Creative Loafing /Tampa, Creative Loafing/Charlotte and Creative Loafing/Sarasota (www.creativeloafing.com). Its national website presence also includes www.StraightDope.com. It has combined weekly print circulation of more than 400,000 copies and monthly internet unique page visitors in excess of 1.5 million.
CONTACTS: For more information, contact Richard W. Gilbert, CLrwgilbert (at) gmail.com.