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Indianapolis Star gets new publisher

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An Arizona newspaper executive is set to take over as publisher of The Indianapolis Star, replacing Michael G. Kane.

Karen Crotchfelt, a senior vice president at fellow Gannett newspaper The Arizona Republic, will begin as president and publisher of Star Media on Jan. 3.

Gannett Co. officials introduced Crotchfelt, 40, at a staff meeting at the newspaper's Indianapolis headquarters Wednesday morning.

It is the first publishing assignment for Crotchfelt, a native of central Illinois who plans to relocate to Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She is a 15-year veteran of Gannett.

Crotchfelt said in an interview that she sees a strong future for newspaper companies, which have struggled as readers and advertisers flock to online products. Of particular importance: Newspapers’ role as a government watchdog, and as a provider of innovative solutions to advertisers.

“I think it’s actually a great time for locally based media companies,” Crotchfelt said. “I’m bullish on the future of local media.”

She’ll spend the next few weeks getting up to speed on the particular challenges facing Star Media.

Crotchfelt was introduced at an all-staff meeting by Bob Dickey, Gannett’s U.S. community publishing president, and Kane, who was named as Star Media's publisher in July 2008.

Gannett said Kane is leaving to become president of a company division based in Rochester, N.Y., that will oversee publishing holdings in the eastern United States.

Tom Spalding, president of the Indianapolis News Guild, welcomed the new publisher in a statement that noted the 166-member union had shrunk almost 28 percent since 2008, thanks to a series of layoffs and attrition.

"She’ll soon be a Hoosier, and we're confident she will strive to make decisions that are good for The Indianapolis Star and good for the journalists and building services employees who we represent," Spalding wrote.

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  • one sided paper
    the Indpls star is one sided in it reporting, they hate the republicans and worship the democrats, you can see this for sure in their comments page, I am thinking about stopping the paper anyway.
  • Safari Problems
    I'm so happy I finally found something on the web that talks about the Indystar and Safari browser problem. The whole site just comes up blank about 50% of the time. Really, really bothers me as I've never had a site fail like this on my computer ever.
  • Web and so much more
    The previous author is spot on about the Star's website, which has a gazillion problems. (Ever tried to do a vacation delay via the website? Good luck.)

    Of course, the paper is so God-awful that if she prioritizes correctly, the web will be far down on her list of challenges.
  • Mayberry Gazette
    Maybe the new publisher can fix the online edition of indystar.com. They have that web so "jacked up" with advertising etc... it will not even load into my MacBook Pro Safari Browser. If I were a paying advertiser I would be pissed with the loss of readership. The indystar shop needs to step up as it rates slightly around a Marion county High School Journalism dept.

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