New Times Announces Personnel Changes

New editor, ME at Phoenix New Times.

With the advent of Michele Laven as president and COO of New Times, news of hirings and promotions is spinning out of the chain’s headquarters like balls shot into a pinball machine.

At the flagship Phoenix New Times, veteran Arizona newspaperwoman Kristi Dempsey will become editor and Blake de Pastino moves from the Missoula Independent to become managing editor, both effective July 2.

Dempsey was most recently urban affairs editor for the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. and former editor of the Scottsdale Tribune. She moves into a position that has been vacant since October and takes over from Michael Lacey, executive editor for New Times, who has been acting editor in Phoenix in the interim.

De Pastino has been managing editor of the Missoula Independent since 1998. Before that he was the managing editor of the Weekly Alibi in Albuquerque. He replaces Carol Hanner, who is moving overseas.

De Pastino also is AAN’s editorial chair, having replaced David Carr, who resigned the position early in 2000. De Pastino’s board seat expires during the New Orleans convention, and he will not seek re-election.

In California, New Times announces that Lesley Jones will become publisher of the East Bay Express, replacing John Raeside, one of the founders of the Berkeley paper. After serving nearly four years as both editor and publisher, Raeside again becomes full-time editor.

In her new position, Jones will be responsible for all of the newspaper’s sales and marketing efforts. She assumes her increased responsibilities at an active time in the paper’s 23-year history, with a redesign scheduled to launch July 4, a move to new office space and increased and expanding circulation efforts.

Jones joined the East Bay Express as an account executive in 1994. After traveling overseas, she returned to the Express in June 1998 as advertising director. In February 2001 when New Times purchased the East Bay Express, Jones was promoted to associate publisher.

On the business side of New Times, Chris Keating has been named vice president of financial operations. Keating joined Miami New Times in 1996 as an accountant and was promoted to business manager in 1997. In 1999, he moved to Phoenix to become corporate financial operations manager. In his new position, Keating will be responsible for financial and operating information as well as overseeing planning and budgeting.

Stuart Folb has been named group publisher for the Houston Press, St. Louis’ Riverfront Times and Cleveland Scene. He joined Phoenix New Times in 1990 as an account executive and was promoted to sales director in 1994. In 1996 he moved to Houston to become ad director and then in 1998 publisher of the Houston Press.

Stacey Lindsay has been named promotion and marketing director. Lindsay joined Phoenix New Times in 1996 as promotions director. In this new position, Lindsay will work with all of the New Times papers on branding and revenue opportunities.

At The Ruxton Group, Sue Belair has been named vice president. Belair has been with Ruxton since 1984. She joined the New Times organization when it acquired the firm from the Chicago Reader in 1995. Currently, she manages the New York Ruxton office and will now expand her strategic sales planning to encompass all Ruxton offices.

Joe Larkin has been named vice president of operations for The Ruxton Group. Larkin joined Phoenix New Times in 1984. Between 1984 and 1992 he held every sales role from runner to senior account executive. In 1992 Larkin was promoted to general sales manager, in 1993 sales director, and from 1994 to 1999 he held the position of Phoenix New Times advertising director. In 1999 he moved to The Ruxton Group as national advertising director. Larkin will work in partnership with Belair on all aspects of the Ruxton national sales effort.

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