Media General is well on its way to becoming a pure play television company now that most of its newspaper holdings are out the door – and in addition to making that transition, it is undergoing changes in its executive suite.
The changes start right at the very top: The company has announced that President/CEO Marshall N. Morton will retire at the end of the year, ending a 23 year run with the company.
He will be replaced by VP Growth and Performance George L. Mahoney, who will brandish an interim business card embossed with the title VP/COO.
Board Chairman J. Stewart Bryan III said, “Marshall joined Media General as chief financial officer in 1989. In his early years, we refocused Media General on its core strengths of local news, excellent journalism and southeastern markets. As president, he guided Media General through unprecedented change in the media industry and a severe economic downturn. I thank Marshall for his innumerable contributions to Media General, and I wish him and his wife, Caroline, all the best in retirement.
Mr. Morton said, “I have worked closely with the board to plan for the best management succession at Media General. I’m delighted that the board elected George to succeed me. He has the experience, talent and energy to lead Media General to new successes, and I look forward to assisting in a smooth transition,” said Mr. Morton.
Mahoney commented, “Media General has a very promising future as a television broadcaster, with our portfolio of top ranked stations located in attractive markets. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the company forward at this time of great opportunity. We will capitalize on the new frontiers afforded by technology and evolving consumer preferences. As we grow, we will uphold our commitment to trusted journalism and to our values of integrity, quality and innovation.
Two other executives have been given promotions. Marilyn L. Hammond has been named Vice President-Broadcast Sales and Marketing, and Andrew J. Lobred has been named Vice President-Digital Media.
“I am delighted to promote two seasoned and effective sales and operating executives to these key new roles,” said Morton. “Marilyn has a long track record of success for leading revenue growth across multiple media platforms, especially on the broadcast side of our business, through market-driven strategies and innovative solutions. Andy was the architect and leader of a sales force transformation, designed to turn all of our sellers into masters of multimedia, skilled in selling emerging digital products, an initiative that has resulted in significant digital and mobile revenue growth for Media General. We look forward to continued strong revenue growth at our stations and on our digital and mobile platforms under the leadership of Marilyn and Andy.”