Yesterday we got word that John McKeon, the president and general manager of The Dallas Morning News since October 2007, was leaving, which publisher Jim Moroney confirmed via email. At which point a press release went out, leading with news of fourth-quarter 2011 earnings ("decrease of four to five percent compared to 2010, an improvement in the rate of decline compared to the third quarter of 2011," per head honco Robert Decherd) but also noting McKeon's adios ("as part of the Company's continued efforts to streamline operations"). Moroney assumes his duties.
This morning, Moroney also dispatched to Unfair Park his memo to the paper's staff, sent late last night, in which he informed them of McKeon's departure. It reads, in full:
It is with regret that I am letting you know that John McKeon will be leaving The Dallas Morning News. John has been a remarkable leader for our company during the most difficult years in the modern history of the newspaper industry.
While at The Dallas Morning News, John led the implementation and execution of Briefing, which has been a resounding success both financially and editorially. He was on point for leading our circulation pricing strategy, which has resulted in four consecutive years of significant circulation revenue increases. He helped lead the growth of our commercial printing and distribution, which resulted in dramatic revenue growth over a short period of time. Also, John has been a consistent champion for innovating our products in the digital space, including the launch of our iPad apps and the implementation of our subscriber content initiative.
For all of these reasons and many, many more John's talent, smarts and energy will be missed.
Please join me in wishing John the very best.