Ed Moss was today named The San Diego Union-Tribune’s new publisher and president. He’s the former president and CEO of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which publishes the Los Angeles Daily News and eight other LA-area newspapers owned by MediaNews Group.

Moss has worked in Los Angeles since June 2007. Before that, he was publisher of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, a newspaper owned by David Black, whose media holdings include 150 newspapers in the United States and Canada. Black has served as an advisor to Platinum Equity, the Beverly Hills-based private equity firm that now owns the Union-Tribune.

In a news release, the Union-Tribune said Moss would be “responsible for the day-to-day management of the business, stabilizing current financial performance and driving revenue growth.”

Moss said in the release:

There’s a terrific opportunity here to create value with a highly differentiated product that delivers real value to readers and advertisers. Our biggest challenge will be to grow a business that has been shrinking for some time. That means maximizing current revenue streams and identifying new ones. We’re committed to doing that.

Moss worked 10 months in Akron after Black purchased it in 2006. While he was there, the newspaper’s editor was laid off and the staff was cut 25 percent.

During his tenure, the Beacon Journal said Moss’s goal was to boost local news — a goal echoed by Black.

From a 2006 Beacon Journal story:

Moss said he’ll work internally to “break down the walls between departments” so that all staffers are focused on providing “hyper local” news coverage and “outstanding customer service.” …

He added that he is less interested in winning state or national awards for journalism than in adding circulation, which is a more important “win” for the Beacon because it indicates reader satisfaction.

The Union-Tribune’s news release offers more background on Moss:

Mr. Moss has served as president and publisher of newspapers in California, Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana in some of the nation’s most competitive markets during his 32 year career in the media business. He has been successful in each of those markets in implementing hyper-local strategies to better serve both readers and advertisers. Even in the face of industrywide declines, he has demonstrated an ability to develop targeted niche products that generated profitable revenue in new market sectors.

He starts in San Diego on May 18.


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