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Leader publisher gets a promotion

Gordon Tomaske prepares to take the top spot in the targeted media division of the Los Angeles Times.

May 10, 2008|By Jason Wells

GLENDALE — Gordon Tomaske, publisher of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Canada Valley Sun and Crescenta Valley Sun, has been promoted to director of operations for the Los Angeles Times’ targeted media division a little more than a year after he took over in March 2007 as the third publisher in as many years.

The targeted media division oversees Times Community News, of which the Leader is a part. Together with its sister publications, the Glendale News-Press, La Cañada Valley Sun and Crescenta Valley Sun, the Leader will be placed under the more direct purview of Times Community News General Manager Tom Johnson, who is based in Costa Mesa.

The move was made, in part, to optimize resources for the community news division “and really get it strengthened,” Tomaske said.

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Despite declining advertising revenue at many major metropolitan newspapers, community news remains one of the few growth markets in the industry, he said.

That puts the News-Press and Leader in a solid position at a time when most of the major dailies in the region have undergone highly publicized staff cuts, managers said.

“It’s definitely not a sign of weakness,” Johnson said of Tomaske’s reassignment.

“This is not a move I could make if I didn’t have great leadership in Glendale.”

Danette Goulet will remain as director of editorial for the four papers, with Hector Cabral as advertising manager.

Johnson, who also oversees the Independent, in Huntington Beach; the Coastline Pilot, in Laguna Beach; and Daily Pilot, in Newport Beach, will remain headquartered in Costa Mesa, but has committed to having a presence in the community here.

Beyond the motive of economic consolidation, the idea of bringing in a new resident publisher for the News-Press and Leader office in Glendale was nixed to preserve some continuity for a community that has had to deal with persistent staff changes, especially in terms of publishers, Tomaske said.

“There’s no getting around that,” he said.

Since Johnson has overseen the papers for years, managers said he is in a much better position to more directly oversee the operations here.

“We’re happy Tom Johnson is taking over because he’s not a new face for us,” Goulet said. “No one knows better than he what we do at these papers and how we do it.”

The change in management structure is reflective of more changes throughout the newsroom.

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