By Strupp, Joe
Editor & Publisher
Hearst Newspapers President George Irish announced today he will leave his post, according to an e-mail he sent this morning to employees that was obtained by E&P.
Hearst Corporation confirmed the change in a release this afternoon, stating Steven Swartz had been named to replace him. Swartz will also become a senior vice president of Hearst Corporation. Irish will become vice president and eastern director of the two Hearst Foundations, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation of California and The Hearst Foundation Inc. of New York, which are independent entities and separate from the Corporation, the release stated. The announcements were made by Frank A. Bennack Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Hearst Corporation, and will be effective Jan. 1, 2009. Swartz, 46, has been executive vice president since 2001. Commenting on the announcement, Bennack said: "The world of newspapering is undoubtedly changing and Hearst is at the forefront of building new models that will transform the way we do business. Steve, alongside George, has been instrumental in forecasting and implementing the changes we have to make to be successful in the future. I congratulate Steve and thank George for his many contributions to the Corporation during his nearly three decades with Hearst Newspapers. We wish him well in his new role at The Hearst Foundations." "Irish, who will turn 65 in February, has successfully led Hearst Newspapers since 1998," the release said. "Under his direction, the Group invested in operations and expanded its journalistic enterprise both in print and online."
Irish's memo follows:
December 10, 2008
I wish that I could be visiting with you in person at this time, but an email communication will have to carry my message. A formal announcement from Corporate Communications will be released later this morning.
Today, during the Hearst Board meeting, we will announce my retirement from the Hearst Corporation.
I will be turning over the responsibilities of Hearst Newspapers to the very capable Steve Swartz. Steve and I have now toiled together in newspapers and yellow pages directories for eight years. …