August 20, 2013 Last Updated 3:12 pm

Editor Rick Green promoted to president and publisher of The Des Moines Register

This is a trend in the newspaper business that I’m sure a lot of journalists are applauding, the naming of editors as publishers.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since I last worked at a metro daily, but the reason such a thing wouldn’t have occurred as frequently was that the editor’s job was seen as just about equal to that of publisher.

Look at consumer magazines: the publisher is the business-side person and the editor is the star and face of the magazine. (This isn’t true in B2B where editors today often work on multiple titles, as do the publishers. But the editors always report on a straight line to the publisher.)

But now the trend is to take editors and make them publishers. It’s crazy. Why? Because the publisher must have skills beyond the newsroom: advertising, production, circulation. An editor can have these skills, assuming they take time off from journalism to start selling ads. But how many editors do this?

In any case, here is the announcement Gannett made making Rick Green publisher of The Des Moines Register. Green had previously acted as co-publisher of the paper along with Laura Hollingsworth who in May was named publisher of The Tennessean. Not surprisingly, Hollingsworth came from the ad side, having been ad director at The Lansing State Journal before moving up to the V.P. Advertising at the Register.

Here’s Gannett’s announcement:


MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 20, 2013 — Gannett Co., Inc. announced today Rick Green has been promoted to president and publisher of The Des Moines Register and regional president of U.S. Community Publishing (USCP) Central Group. Green had been vice president and editor in Des Moines since 2011 and has served as co-acting publisher since May.

“Rick has been a hard working, award-winning reporter and editor,” said Robert Dickey, president of USCP. “He has spent his entire career working to create a positive impact in the communities he’s covered, including Des Moines, where he and his team received national attention for their innovative and comprehensive digital coverage of the Iowa Caucuses. Rick’s promotion to publisher and regional president is both hard-earned and well-deserved.”

Prior to joining Des Moines, Green was executive editor at The Desert Sun (CA) in Palm Springs. Green has also worked at The Cincinnati Enquirer, where he was assistant managing editor, business editor, suburban bureau chief and reporter; the Chillicothe (OH) Gazette, where he was a reporter; and the Coshocton (OH) Tribune, where he started during his sophomore year of high school and served as reporter, photographer and sports columnist.

Green has been with Gannett for more than 25 years and has been named a Gannett Newsroom Supervisor of the Year and twice earned Gannett’s President’s Ring honors acknowledging the performance of top editors. Green will report to Laura Hollingsworth, whom he succeeds as publisher in Des Moines. Hollingsworth is USCP Central Group president.

“Rick is the right next leader at the right time for Register Media and he’s earned this role. I’ve known Rick for several years and he cares very much about Des Moines and Iowa and making it a better place to call home. He’ll continue to ensure The Register’s position as one of the most respected, well-read and highest quality local news and information outlets in the country, while building on new opportunities for a new era,” said Hollingsworth.

An Ohio native, Green has a degree in journalism studies from Ohio University. He and his wife, Laura, have four children.

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