Chronicle parent company names new executive

    Chronicle Staff | Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 9:18 am        

Seattle-based Pioneer News Group has hired Eric Johnston to be the company’s new chief operating officer.

Johnston was previously the publisher of the McClatchy-owned Modesto (Calif.) Bee and oversaw the Merced Sun and four weekly newspapers in California’s Central Valley.

Pioneer owns 26 newspapers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington, including the Chronicle, Belgrade News, West Yellowstone News and Lone Peak Lookout.

Pioneer CEO Mike Gugliotto said in the announcement that he welcomes Johnston’s experience on the digital side of the news business.

“He was the first publisher in the McClatchy Company to come from the digital ranks and brings with him unique and invaluable experience of both the print and digital side of the business,” he said.

Johnston said he was proud to be joining Pioneer.

“I have worked in this industry for more than 20 years, and believe in the mission of the community newspaper,” he said in the announcement. “I share Pioneer’s desire to strengthen the industry, to develop new business opportunities and to solidify the foundation of journalism for generations to come.”