Michael Moses named new publisher of the Recorder

  • Michael Moses has assumed the duties of publisher and chief revenue officer for Newspapers of New England’s operations in Massachusetts. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 5/10/2019 8:50:40 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Michael Moses has been named publisher and chief revenue officer of Newspapers of New England’s Massachusetts operations, which include the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Greenfield Recorder, Athol Daily News, Amherst Bulletin and the Valley Advocate.

Aaron Julien, president and CEO for Newspapers of New England, Inc. (NNE), made the announcement on Friday.

“I’m confident that he will carry this stewardship with the care and respect our communities require,” said Julien, who until recently served as publisher for the western Massachusetts publications. “Everyone who knows Michael not only respects his deep understanding of news but also appreciates his good humor and good judgment.”

Moses, 55, who had been serving as vice president of sales and marketing for the NNE Massachusetts publications since November, has been working in newspapers across the New England region for the past three decades.

“I’ve been in the newspaper business my entire life and have effectively worked in every facet of the business,” Moses said in an interview at the Gazette Friday morning. He got his start working in distribution at a Connecticut newspaper in high school and since then has had a variety of positions in the industry, ranging from reporting to marketing and advertising.

Twice before, Moses has held publisher positions — at Community Newspaper Company on the North Shore of Boston, and at the Journal Register Company, the latter of which owned Rhode Island newspapers The Call in Woonsocket and The Times in Pawtucket. 

Originally from Manchester, Connecticut, Moses now lives in Fairfield County, though he said he plans to move to western Massachusetts and that his wife, Beth Doris, grew up in Greenfield. Together, they have a blended family with three grown daughters (and two poodle-mixes, Sherman and Pearl).

“I love the Pioneer Valley,” Moses said of what drew him to the position. He added that he is fascinated by the “long and storied histories” of the newspapers he will be overseeing. The Gazette was first published in 1786, five years before the ratification of the First Amendment. The Greenfield Recorder’s roots go back to 1792, while the Athol Daily News was founded in 1934. 

“Both the Gazette and the Recorder have been in existence for nearly as long as our country has existed,” Moses said, “and in the Gazette’s case, it is the oldest daily newspaper in the state.”

In November of 2018, Julien took over the position of publisher when then-publisher Michael Rifanburg was reassigned to another position in the company a week after employees at the Gazette and Advocate formed a union. 

On Friday, Moses said since he started in November, he has been “focused on communicating on supporting these talented teams and providing an atmosphere where folks can thrive.”

He plans to work with several “visioning committees,” made up of staff members at all publications, to create a strategic plan for the future.

“Those teams will help us form that strategic plan and create that sustainable businesses model,” he explained, stressing that it will be a collaborative process. “There’s not going to be a top-down mantra … It’s going to be developed and contributed to by all staffs, which I think is really important.”

In addition to his work inside the company, Moses said he plans to do community outreach. “That’s a priority for me over the next several months,” he said, “to reach out to community organizations and community leaders, to not just solidify our role in the market — but to really enhance our partnerships on all fronts.”

Moses acknowledged that it’s a tough time for the newspaper industry and that it’s essential to find “new and creative ways” to use technology and innovative solutions to sustain the business model and support news gathering. 

“Like every other newspaper organization,” he said, “we are challenged based on changing behaviors in readership, the cost of raw materials and change in how businesses reach their customers. That being said, we have had a solid beginning to 2019 and have an expectation that will continue.” 

Moses emphasized the importance of local journalism. “The mission to preserve these community dailies is of the utmost importance,” he said, referencing the Gazette’s founding. “For 233 years — and nearly that long with the Recorder — we are and we continue to record history on a daily basis.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com

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