Veteran newspaper industry executive Steve Rossi has taken on the additional job of publisher of the Bay Area News Group, replacing Mac Tully, who has been named president and CEO of sister paper The Denver Post.

Rossi is also president and chief executive of BANG's parent, the California Newspapers Partnership of 34 daily newspapers, and regional Digital First Media executive vice president. Digital First operates the newspapers.

Tully also takes over immediately as executive vice president of Digital First Media responsible for operations in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.

"This is a well-deserved recognition of Mac's management skills and experience, and we will miss him," Rossi said in an announcement to staff Monday.

Steve Rossi, president of the California Newspapers Partnership and regional vice-president for Digital First Media will also assume the role of publisher
Steve Rossi, president of the California Newspapers Partnership and regional vice-president for Digital First Media will also assume the role of publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, it was announced Monday, May 13, 2013. Rossi succeeds Michael "Mac" Tully, who has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Denver Post. Both men take on their new roles effective immediately. (Michael Malone/staff)

Tully has been president and publisher of the Bay Area News Group of 14 papers, including the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune, since 2008. Before joining BANG, he was president and publisher of the Kansas City Star, and in an earlier post was vice president of operations for the newspaper division of 16 publications for Knight Ridder.

Digital First is headquartered in New York City and jointly manages MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media, which controls the Journal Register group of newspapers.

In announcing the changes to staff, Rossi said the news industry faces challenges but that the Bay Area News Group is prepared for them.


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"As we continue to change our structure and our business model, it's all based around maintaining our position of service to the community, reaching large local audiences, holding government, business and when necessary, our fellow citizens accountable; and, of course, serving our advertisers with the most effective media products available in our marketplace," he said.

The Bay Area News Group's newspapers and digital products reach more than 50 percent of adults in the Bay Area, Rossi said.

"We set the news agenda for the region. The others follow and copy us," he said.

As the traditional print business transitions to digital, "there's still a lot of work to be done," Rossi said. "Much of the fun will be in the journey."

From 1987 until 2006, Rossi held several management posts with Knight Ridder, once the second-largest U.S. newspaper chain.

From 1992 through 1998 he was executive vice president and general manager of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

He joined Knight Ridder's corporate staff when it moved from Miami to San Jose, holding senior management positions until its sale in 2006.

He then became executive vice president and chief operating officer of the MediaNews Group.

Rossi, a Los Gatos resident, is a board member of the Alliance for Audited Media and a former board member of the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Downtown Association and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

He holds an MBA from the Wharton School.

Contact Pete Carey at 408-920-5419. Follow him on Twitter.com/petecarey.