Acadiana Business

Whoop-Dee-Do! Advertiser has new publisher

by Leslie Turk

Gannett veteran becomes fourth publisher in six years.

The Daily Advertiser has a new publisher. (Didn't we just report this a little more than a year ago?)

It's official: Judi Terzotis is the fourth (well, almost fifth) publisher of the local daily in six years.

The longtime Gannett exec was named president and publisher of The Daily Advertiser and Daily World in Opelousas Tuesday, a move the company says shifts the Gannett Louisiana headquarters to Lafayette.

Judi Terzotis

Since May Terzotis has served as president and publisher of The Times of Shreveport and has also been overseeing all of the company's Louisiana papers as Gannett Louisiana regional president. She will keep those roles, according to today's Advertiser, but Terzotis says in a video posted on the newspaper's website that she and her husband will move to Lafayette. She's going to be a very busy lady, as Gannett corporate says in addition to heading up the five-paper Louisiana operations, she'll continue to oversee the Fort Collins Coloraodan, where she was publisher before moving to Shreveport this spring.

A self-described Army brat, Terzotis was born in Texas, according to the Advertiser story.

Terzotis takes over the job most recently held by Karen Lincoln, who was canned in July after serving about 17 months. Lincoln replaced Ali Zoibi (though Zoibi was supposed to be replaced by Richard Roesgen, who a week after accepting the post said he would not be coming here for "personal matters"). In 2010 Zoibi replaced Leslie Hurst who replaced Ted Power.

David Petty, publisher of The News-Star in Monroe, had been serving as interim publisher of the two local dailies until Tuesday's announcement.

Read this month's ABiz story "Butterflies?" for more on what media giant Gannett may have in store for Lafayette.

Gannett Blog, which is not affiliated with the McLean, Va.-based company and is run by a former Gannett editor and reporter, wasted no time weighing in Tuesday:
Even by Gannett standards, today's announcement about a new publisher for two Louisiana newspapers really sticks out. ... Across Gannett markets, locals expect publishers to ride the rubber chicken circuit of Rotary lunches, car dealer promotions and chamber of commerce banquets. Nowhere is that more true than in small southern communities, where residents' legendary charm is leavened by wariness of executives parachuting in from multinational conglomerates based near Washington. I know, having spent six years working in Arkansas before and after Gannett bought the now-defunct Arkansas Gazette.

Lafayette and Opelousas residents pondering the notion of responsiveness will note Shreveport is about 200 miles north of their communities. And Fort Collins is fully 1,100 miles north of Shreveport. They'll note as well Terzotis is their fourth publisher in six years. (And that doesn't even count a fifth publisher who pulled out only a week after Corporate gave him the job. Nor does it include interim publisher David Petty.) Read the full blog post here.