Valley Advocate Hires New Publisher

Position vacant since death of longtime publisher Kathy Nylic.

Former DesertNet CEO Andy Sutcliffe has been hired as publisher of the Valley Advocate. The position was most recently held by Kathy Nylic, who died Sept. 10 after a long battle with breast cancer.

News of the veteran publisher’s passing shocked and saddened the staff at the New England paper, many of whom were unaware of Nylic’s struggle. She had worked for the Advocate Weekly chain for 19 years.

Her successor has been involved with the alternative newspaper industry for over a decade, starting his career in 1988 with the Boston Phoenix media group, where he helped launch the company’s personals vendor subsidiary, Tele-Publishing International (TPI). Sutcliffe was TPI’s president for 10 years before accepting a position as president of Tucson-based Web software vendor DesertNet.

Sutcliffe originally announced that he was leaving DesertNet to join a San Francisco-based, Internet startup. He now says that he has always wanted to publish a newspaper and the Advocate offer was more attractive than anything he found on the West Coast.

“Quite honestly, I wanted to do something that made a positive difference in the human arena, and I wasn’t finding that in the dot-com world,” Sutcliffe said. “The single most important thing in my life is my marriage and [my wife and I] both felt more comfortable on the East Coast.”

His new job with the NewMass Media/Advocate Weekly brings him back to Massachusetts, where he grew up and attended college.

“I want to continue to improve the newspaper and its outreach in the community,” he said. “I want to put in to practice what I was doing in the world of the Web. To use a method of creating a much more dynamic Web presence that will generate significant revenue from our advertisers.”

New Mass Media also announced that it has hired Joy Gilbert as ad director for the Fairfield and Westchester County Weeklies. Gilbert previously served as an ad rep at St. Louis Magazine and, before that, at AAN-member Riverfront Times. She starts Dec. 4.

The Valley Advocate, which turned 27 years old in September, has a weekly circulation of 65,000. The paper re-located last week to new office space at 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 3350, Easthampton.

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