Ottaway's gain is Enterprise NewsMedia's loss
On the heels of the latest editor and two reporters* leaving our local daily, Bob Kempf, the man who created the newspaper's snazzy web site and who went on to become Director of Internet Product Development at Ottaway's Campbell Hall, NY, headquarters, has decamped to become V.P,. of Interactive Media for Enterprise NewsMedia in Quincy publishers of three dailies and a dozen weeklies.
"Dot.Bob" as he was known at CC Times, is the second Ottaway/CC Times exec to join the fast-growing South Shore media group this year following in the footsteps of Dave Johnson who gave up a G.M. job at Ottaway's Stockton CA daily for a similar post here.
Kempf's rep around the cyber-cooler was tepid at best. One former co-worker said of him, "there's less there than meets the eye," but the Bourne native may have met his mêtier now. Certainly he'll be put to the test since there are weeklies in Tajikistan with a better web presence than The Ledger, Enterprise and MPG Communications. An idea of his genius may be gleamed in a recent NAA article wherein Dot.Bob opined that "advertiser targeting is intuitive", which may simply mean he didn't like to leave his office for the street.
A new broom sweeps clean, and this one is loaded with gold dust
Enterprise NewsMedia owns 11 newspapers in the South Shore of Boston including two dailies, The Patriot Ledger and The Brockton Enterprise, and The Memorial Press Group Newspapers, which includes one twice-weekly and eight weekly newspapers clustered around Plymouth. The company has almost a thousand employees and revenues of $75 million projected for this year.
Presently their major competitors are The Globe, The Herald, Community Newspaper Co. (CNC) and The Phoenix, but Publisher Kirk Davis, on right, will probably add another competitor when he starts buying or starting weeklies on Cape Cod where he once held sway as a CNC Group Publisher. And he's got the wallet for it.
Watch out Cape Cod, here he comes
Enterprise NewsMedia is owned by the Boston-based private equity firm Heritage Partners Inc. which recently secured $100 million in financing as part of a restructuring and for the purchase of several more weeklies west and south of Plymouth. It is assumed that there's enough chunk change left to buy a few on Cape Cod, perhaps The Chronicle and The Patriot. Just what this over-published market needs - another print-buy.
Heritage Partners has $1.4 billion in capital under management and spent $43 million two years ago to buy their controlling interest in Enterprise NewsMedia, LLC.
Postscript; A friend who works at a Boston ad shop just emailed me concerning this "post" saying, " Newspapers are like NBA teams- they never look for new management blood. They always hire the same old talent and get the same old results. Can't they see what you're doing on the Cape?"
Maybe when Rupert Murdoch takes over Herald Media and the Community Newspaper Co. we'll find out.
*P.S. Since this was written another Cape Cod Times reporter has decamped. Marc Perry who was covering Dennis and Yamouth has moved to the newspaper in Albany NY. His departure follows tthat of Cliff Schechctman and Ethan Zindler, all within the last two weeks.