MCLEAN, VA – Gannett, who owns USA TODAY and 109 local media properties, has appointed a new head of its USA TODAY Network marketing solutions unit.
Kevin Gentzel, who became the media company’s first chief revenue officer in 2015, has been named president of USA TODAY Network Marketing Solutions, effective Jan. 26, the company said on Monday.
He will replace Sharon Rowlands, who is leaving the company to become CEO of web.com, said Robert J. Dickey, President and CEO of Gannett. Rowlands, who was appointed to this role in November 2017, had been CEO of ReachLocal since 2014 and joined Gannett when the media company acquired the local online marketing company in 2016.
Gentzel oversaw all revenue for Gannett’s advertising and marketing solutions in North America, including national sales, the GET Creative branded content studio and corporate revenue operations, as well as the sales teams and local sales assistance.
Dickey also announced that product manager Kris Barton will now report to him with expanded oversight roles for search engine marketing provider WordStream and location and reputation management service SweetIQ. Barton, who was named Gannett’s Chief Product Officer in 2017, had been ReachLocal’s Chief Product Officer since February 2012.
Barton will continue to oversee and lead product and technology strategy and innovation for Gannett’s consumer content and its business-to-business advertising and marketing solutions, Dickey said.
In September 2018, the USA TODAY network launched LOCALiQ, which uses SweetIQ and Wordstream, along with ReachLocal, to create an end-to-end digital marketing and advertising service for clients large and small nationwide.
“Kevin and Kris are proven leaders who have been instrumental in advancing our digital transformation and positioning Gannett as a leader in advertising and marketing services solutions,” Dickey said in a statement. “Under Kevin’s leadership, our digital marketing services business has grown steadily. Generating strong revenue growth. As a Product Manager, Kris has demonstrated his commitment to delivering excellence every day to our readers, business partners and other stakeholders, I have no doubts that they will continue to be the driving force behind the company’s future success.
Prior to joining Gannett, Gentzel was responsible for advertising sales in North America at Yahoo. He was previously the director of revenue for the Washington Post and Forbes Media.
“I am delighted to take on this new role of overseeing the company’s marketing solutions organization,” Gentzel said in a statement. “After a year of rapid transformation, 2019 is a very important year for us as we look to continue growing our business … and delivering on our mission of being absolutely essential to all of our client partners.”
Barton said, “As part of our commitment to create compelling content and value for Gannett customers, I look forward to continuing to advance innovative products and services that drive the digital transformation of our media properties through the USA TODAY network as well as our advertising and marketing solutions for businesses.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.