WaPo Re-org: The CliffsNotes

wapo org chart.jpg

Yesterday, WaPo Media President and General Manager Steve Hills treated staffers to a PowerPoint deck and novella memo that outlined the company’s organizational changes for 2010.

The very long and detailed email (after the jump) announced seemingly minor rearrangements of the current org chart, a few promotions and a couple new roles. My 15 sec. summary:

Gregg Fernandes was promoted to Vice President, Circulation. The Marketing Managers, who support WaPo’s Advertising business, will report to a newly created role – Director, Advertising Marketing. That position will be filled by an existing Marketing Manager and will report to Ken Babby, VP, Advertising. Mike Shenk and his team, Marketing Creative Services, will join Advertising Operations. David Jones and the Community Relations team now report to Kris Coratti, Director, Public Relations. Laura Evans will take on an expanded role of Director, Marketing Research and Analytics as she assumes responsibility for the Digital analytics team and Nick Findlay will assume a new role as the Director, Retention Marketing.

All changes are effective Jan. 1, 2010. The full memo after the jump.


I want to announce a series of organizational changes, most of which are effective January 1, 2010.

First, it is with great pleasure that I announce that David Dadisman is promoted to General Manager of the Daily Herald in Everett, an affiliate of the Washington Post Company located in Washington State. While I am sad for the Post’s loss of the finest Circulation executive in the Newspaper industry, I am very excited for David who earned this opportunity. During his tenure, David built an exemplary team and delivered outstanding results for The Post. Circulation performance under David and his team has exceeded that of peer newspapers by a wide margin. Further, he has done this while reducing costs dramatically, focusing relentlessly on improving our customer service and improving his team along the way. David’s brand of humble yet determined leadership has endeared him to us all, and we will miss him very much.

Gregg Fernandes is promoted to Vice President, Circulation. Gregg has established himself as a leader in the field, delivering industry-leading performance in circulation results and customer service, while also demonstrating extraordinary cost management. Gregg began his Post career in 1987 as a customer service representative while attending the University of Maryland. Later, he was an independent Washington Post distributor for six years, during which he completed masters and law degrees at the University of Maryland. In 1998, Gregg was re-hired as a Home Delivery Zone Manager and became the Post’s first Retention Manager in 2001, supervising all circulation call center and subscriber billing activities. He was promoted again in 2003 to home delivery division manager, then to Circulation Director for Home Delivery in 2004. Gregg continued to earn additional responsibilities, culminating in his direction of all Washington Post home delivery and single copy sales management in 2009. I know he will continue his outstanding track record in his new role as head of the entire Circulation function.

As we look for ways to focus on growth and encourage a more nimble culture, we have decided to rethink the Marketing department and how to provide value to those served by marketing. Marketing components will now become part of the client groups they serve to enable a more agile, strategic whole.

Candy Lee has provided or overseen some remarkable opportunities for the last four years, from building PostPoints to encouraging circulation programs that have improved our readership, from overseeing new community outreaches to coordinating inauguration activities. She has been in the forefront of our thinking about the brand and how to grow it. She has ably served as VP, Marketing and we are indebted to her for thinking about what would be best for the company and authoring a plan that changes how traditional programs are managed. As marketing groups are absorbed by their client bases, we will not have a VP, Marketing role. However, I have asked Candy to consult with us to build one or two new programs. She will be laser focused on thinking through which areas might lead to future profitability, then collaborating to build new programs that can be internally built and managed. If these are successful we can continue to capitalize on her ability to conceive and originate valuable ideas with strong collaboration with all here, while we also have the opportunity to work on new programs that can be nurtured to future profit.

Rich Handlof’s current role as Director, Consumer Marketing will expand to include a focus on strategy and growth. In addition, Rich assumes complete responsibility for our most cherished asset – our brand. Rich has proven himself to be an excellent partner, developing and implementing programs to drive our industry-leading circulation results, while also negotiating significant sponsorships, managing agency relationships, and overseeing our outstanding customer service, including our call center and web customer outreaches. Rich’s careful and innovative management of our ad campaigns plays a significant role in showcasing our brand effectively to the region. Also, from finding new crew teams to selling our papers door-to-door to ensuring content radio reaches commuters, Rich ensures that marketing successfully gains readers for all of our products. Rich will report to Gregg Fernandes. As they have in the past, Gregg and Rich will work together as two strong voices dedicated to delivering outstanding results.

Julie Perlstein adds Lisa Goldstein to her Advertising Promotions team, which will report to Jenny Abramson to better coordinate Advertising-related events and promotions. Jenny will continue her outstanding work as GM, Magazine & Special Sections as she expands her focus to include Julie’s team.

The Marketing Managers, who support our Advertising business, will report to the newly created role of Director, Advertising Marketing, which will report to Ken Babby, VP, Advertising. The Marketing Director will be selected from the existing Marketing Managers, and will retain current duties while also assuming reporting responsibility for the other Marketing Managers. All Marketing Managers and the Marketing Director will continue to report via dotted line to their respective Advertising Sales Directors. The Marketing Analysts and Media Planners will continue to report to their respective Marketing Managers as they do today. There is no addition to headcount. The Marketing Director position is posted immediately.

Mike Shenk and his team, Marketing Creative Services, will join Advertising Operations. Mike will report directly to Costa Bugg, Director, Advertising Operations. This will allow us to achieve efficiencies over time via stronger integration by combining our creative groups under Costa’s leadership. In his brief tenure as a Director, Costa has led a very successful Ad Ops team which has driven new revenue to Advertising while simultaneously reducing expenses considerably.

David Jones and the Community Relations team now report to Kris Coratti, Director, Public Relations. We believe that combining the two outward-facing roles of Public Relations and Community Relations allows us to better coordinate our external efforts in the community under the able leadership of David and Kris. Kris now reports to Eric Lieberman, VP and General Counsel.

Laura Evans takes on the expanded role of Director, Marketing Research and Analytics as she assumes responsibility for the Digital analytics team. This role unites all consumer-facing research and analysis under Laura who brings her extraordinary analytical abilities and experience to bear in developing and tracking the success metrics that are increasingly important to the day-to-day running of our business. In this expanded role, Laura will report to me.

Rochelle Sanchirico will continue to lead the Digital Acquisition group, and will further her leadership role in helping the organization execute best practices in Search Engine Optimization.

Nick Findlay will assume a new role as the Director, Retention Marketing. Nick will lead the strategic development of all customer communications to both consumers and digital advertisers with a focus on enhancing customer engagement with washingtonpost.com, our mobile site and new digital product offerings in 2010.

Kathleen Tetrault will retain her role as the Director, Digital Marketing Strategy and will focus her initial efforts in 2010 on developing a business extension strategy for the future role preprints can play for retailers and consumers across the digital landscape.

Lynn Branigan, who has acted as a full-time consultant for Goli Sheikholeslami, GM, Digital, in Digital Marketing, will continue in that role through the end of March, leading the digital acquisition and retention groups. Her experience and wise counsel has served us very well, and we appreciate Lynn’s many contributions to our Digital enterprise during this difficult period of transition. Starting in April, Rochelle, Nick and Kathleen will report directly to Goli.

These changes make us more efficient, but I am also confident that they will make us more effective. We are asking people who have a demonstrated ability to succeed to take on more responsibility, and that is a winning formula for continuing success.

Please join me in wishing all of these Post veterans the best in their new assignments.

Please see the attached org charts for a visual representation of these changes. All changes are effective January 1, 2010, unless otherwise noted.