Consortium Executive Board
Rusty Coats is Executive Director of the Local Media Consortium, which includes more than 75 media companies driving more than 4 billion pageviews and 12 billion advertising impressions per month to 155 million unduplicated users, making the LMC the 5th largest news entity measured by comScore.
He also is President and founder of Coats2Coats, a consultancy that focuses on a media future that is participatory, profitable and mobile, working with for-profit and non-profit media companies, startups and foundations funding journalism innovation.
Rusty has worked in interactive media since 1993, driving audience and revenue for such news companies as McClatchy, Media General and E.W. Scripps. He started his career as a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Evening News, in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and has worked for newspapers in Maine, Miami and Modesto, CA, as an investigative reporter and columnist, before becoming a technology reporter in 1993, covering the birth of interactive media. He also is the author of the novels “Out of Touch,” published in 2012, and “Avalon,” published in 2016.
Christian A. Hendricks has been Vice President, Products, Marketing and Innovation since June 2015. In this role he is responsible for digital and print audience development, mobile initiatives, marketing, product management, corporate communications, partnerships and innovation.
He joined the company in 1992 and held marketing and technology-related executive positions until 1996 when he was promoted to President and Publisher of Nando.net (renamed McClatchy Interactive), a pioneering digital publishing and software company. He remained there until 1999 when he was named Vice President, Interactive Media for McClatchy.
He is also chairman of the Local Media Consortium’s executive committee, whose leadership team is dedicated to leveraging the collective digital strength and assets of its members’ 1,700+ newspaper and broadcast outlets to the benefit of members. Hendricks speaks regularly at digital conferences, works closely with numerous start-up companies and also serves on a variety of for-profit and non-profit boards including Careerbuilder, Engage3, Moonlighting, The Local Media Association and The Maynard Institute.
Emily H. Dresslar heads up Corporate Development and Strategic Partnerships for Calkins Digital, an award-winning division of Calkins Media, which operates newspapers, digital and video operations and broadcast stations in the Eastern U.S. She serves on a digital team that provides strategy and technology on digital, mobile and Over-The-Top streaming video products and initiatives for publishers and broadcasters across the U.S.
Prior to joining Calkins, Dresslar was a newspaper reporter and editor-in-chief in Western Colorado and she has also served as a researcher and consultant for media organizations including the McCormick Foundation and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. She is an occasional guest lecturer at various journalism schools and student programs.
Dresslar is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. She received her master’s degree with honors in Media Strategy and Leadership from the Medill School at Northwestern University and holds a professional certificate in media management from the Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Evanston, Ill.
James Green joined Lee in 2013 as vice president – digital, responsible for leading the development of digital products and services, as well as overseeing all digital operations.
He most recently served as executive vice president and general manager of Travidia, Inc., developer of digital shopping media and marketing programs for nearly 800 newspapers. Previously, he was chief marketing officer at Travidia from 2004 to 2008, and from 2000 to 2004 he led development of Internet operations at The McClatchy Company as president and publisher of Nando Media. His career also includes executive positions in interactive media, marketing, strategic planning and sales at The Modesto Bee, The Sacramento Bee, The Newspaper Network and Equifax National Decision Systems.
He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and earned a master’s degree at the University of San Diego. He is a former board member of the National Association of Minority Media Executives. He has been a Newspaper Association of America Breakthrough Mentor and Minority Media Fellow, and was honored in 1999 by Presstime magazine as a national “20 Under 40” outstanding achiever.
With more than 25 years of experience in a variety of publishing disciplines, Mr. Johnston brings a unique perspective and passion to the media industry. Having served in markets across the country, his experience includes that of photojournalist, print and digital designer, IT specialist, classified advertising sales manager, audience development manager, digital media business leader and Publisher. In his current role as Chief Operating Officer for the Pioneer News Group, Eric oversees operations for the privately-held company’s two-dozen daily and weekly titles in the Pacific Northwest.
Before joining the Pioneer News Group, Eric served as the Publisher and President of The Modesto Bee and the Merced Sun-Star, McClatchy Company newspapers located in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Through his career, Eric has been at the front edge of a number of industry-changing initiatives, including the development, integration and maturation of online business models, the introduction of digital photography and pagination into the newspaper production environment and ongoing workflow and process improvements including regionalized editing, design and customer service operations.
A graduate of California State University, Fresno, Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Susan. They have two daughters: Brittany, a US Navy veteran and nursing student and Morgan, a recent graduate of California State University, Chico. Eric also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Local Media Association and has served in leadership capacities for a variety of industry and community-service organizations.
Thom Kastrup is Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for BH Media Group, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
Thom is responsible for advertising revenue strategy for the company’s 32 daily newspapers and more than 100 overall titles. A primary focus is transforming the company’s sales teams to become trusted digital marketing consultants to local businesses. In addition, he evaluates potential partnerships and develops new print and digital products to drive revenue.
Before becoming Chief Revenue Officer, Thom served as Vice President of Digital Sales for a group of 60-plus websites that BH Media acquired from Media General in 2012. That group included Richmond.com, the website for the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, and JouralNow.com, the online home for the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal. Thom helped establish common platforms for the sites, and he developed a digital product set offered by all markets.
Thom has held a variety of management roles at the Kansas City Star and the Omaha World-Herald in his 25-year media career. He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Chris Loretto has spent the last several years at the Los Angeles News Group as the Executive Vice President of Digital where he has built the architecture of the digital strategy. Under his leadership, the Los Angeles News Group’s Digital Division became a leader throughout Digital First Media in creating innovative solutions and in delivering revenue performance. In his new role, Chris will lead digital strategy for DFM with expectations to drive innovation, revenue growth and audience development across all properties. Chris will sit on the Digital First Operating Committee, represent the company on the Local Media Consortium and with other digital industry leaders like Google and Yahoo!.
Prior to Digital First Media Chris was director of interactive media, product development and marketing at The Times Media Company of Northwest Indiana before being promoted to regional executive for Mid-Valley Newspapers and publisher of 3 mastheads. At The Times, Loretto was responsible for building audiences, developing digital and print products, and leading strategic marketing initiatives, branding, product marketing support, trade partnerships, promotions and community events. Companywide responsibilities include serving on the Digital Directors Steering Committee and Marketing Management Committee.
Before joining The Times in 2006, he was publisher for several business to business publications at Nielsen Media in New York and worked with Major Retailers and Consumer Products Goods Companies such as Target, Wal-Mart, Proctor & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch and Unilever.
He is a veteran of the Marine Corps and a graduate of Stonybrook University with a degree in economics.
Peter Newton is CEO of Propel Business Services, a subsidiary of GateHouse Media focused on developing and scaling growth businesses, and Chief Revenue Officer of GateHouse Media. PBS portfolio companies include Propel Marketing, provider of digital marketing services to local businesses.
Prior to joining GateHouse in 2012, Newton was president and founder of Big Rock Consulting Group, a strategic consulting firm specializing in helping media companies grow. Newton also previously worked at Monster.com as Senior Vice President/General Manager, Small and Medium Business. He was responsible for overseeing and directing the entire Monster operation dedicated to growing the company’s small- and medium-sized business (SMB) segment.
Newton joined Monster after an 18-year career with The Boston Globe and Boston.com, where he served as Vice President of Advertising and President of BostonWorks, the multimedia recruitment services division launched by The Globe in 2001. Newton began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Doug Phares is about finding new paths to success for local media companies. He is president of the Sandusky Newspaper Group (SNG) and COO of its 10 operating companies. SNG has seven daily and five weekly newspapers, 29 websites, a digital-focused ad agency, various e-mail newsletters and a TV station. A privately-held company, its operations are located in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah.
Phares joined SNG in 2005 as publisher of its namesake Sandusky (Ohio) Register becoming president in 2011. Phares started his career with Copley Newspapers in advertising and marketing, working in several suburban Chicago locations. He joined Boone Newspapers at the Fergus Falls (Minn.) Daily Journal as marketing director, eventually becoming president of 14 of Boone’s operations and managing its Alabama-based central administration and accounting teams.
An award-winning columnist, he is active in industry groups, currently as vice president of the Inland Press Association, executive committee member of the Local Media Consortium and a former trustee for the Ohio Newspaper Association.
His community engagements have included service as board member for the Firelands Regional Medical System in Ohio and active participation in Rotary International. In the past he’s held various board positions with United Way, been a board member and president of chambers of commerce and other non-profit groups in several cities.
A University of Illinois graduate, he spends what free time is left sailing, scuba diving and playing with cameras. He fails to understand the allure of Twitter but will sometimes dally with it.
Tom Sly’s background includes multimedia technologies, direct-to-dealer sales, revenue turn arounds, integrated media campaigns, and startups.
As Chief Revenue Officer at The E.W. Scripps Company, core facets of his work as Chief Revenue Officer include: New partnerships, personal relations with media corporations, strategic direction for marketing promotions and product input and collaboration with the technology team and CTO.
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