Zankowski Appointed AAN Treasurer

Association of Alternative Newsweeklies President Ken Neill today appointed Fran Zankowski to replace Rob Jiranek as treasurer of the organization. Jiranek, who was re-elected to a two-year term in June, resigned his seat last week after stepping down as the publisher of C-Ville Weekly.

Zankowski is chief executive officer of the Colorado Springs Independent. His appointment is effective until the 2007 annual meeting, when an election will be held to fill the one year remaining in Jiranek’s term.

Zankowski previously served for five years as CEO of NewMass. Media, a Tribune Co. chain that owns four AAN-member papers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. During his tenure with the chain, Zankowski was elected to the AAN Board of Directors as Bylaws Committee chair, a position he resigned in 2004 after stepping down at NewMass Media. He was also a member of the Admissions Committee (now called the Membership Committee) for eight years, and has been a regular presenter at AAN conventions, most recently leading a session on “Managing by the Numbers” in Little Rock.

Since leaving NewMass. Media, Zankowski has done consulting work for a number of AAN-member papers. He took on the temporary role of “visiting publisher” at the Colorado Springs Independent in February 2005, and was retained permanently as CEO shortly thereafter. He now splits his time between Colorado and his home in Hartford, Conn.

Before joining the NewMass Media chain, Zankowski held a number of different positions at the Independent Weekly in Raleigh-Durham.

“Fran is a creative manager and a seasoned industry veteran,” said Neill, who appointed Zankowski after consulting with members of the Board’s Executive Committee. “We are delighted to have him back on the Board.”

Jiranek, who had been publisher of C-Ville Weekly and president and group publisher of its parent company, Portico Publications, was first elected treasurer of the organization in June 2004. He recently accepted a position as vice-president of sales and strategic planning with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, a daily newspaper owned by the E.W. Scripps Co.

“I greatly enjoyed our diverse and talented group and was challenged by the various issues we confronted on behalf of our industry,” Jiranek said in his resignation letter. “With the financial health of the association as it is, I’ll remember this time as 70 degrees and sunny.”

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