New generation of leadership rising at The Star
by Cameron Steele
Sep 02, 2012 | 4992 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Changes within some of Consolidated Publishing Company’s leadership take effect today, as Anniston Star Editor Bob Davis, Vice President of Sales Robert Jackson and Business Manager Scott Calhoun all assume new roles.

In addition to his duties as editor, Davis will now serve as an associate publisher for the paper — a position that Star Publisher H. Brandt Ayers said will prepare Davis to eventually take over for him.

Meanwhile, Jackson will replace Ed Fowler as the company’s vice president of operations in the wake of Fowler’s move to Talladega to be the Daily Home’s publisher and editor, a transition that was announced last week.

Calhoun has received a promotion within the financial department under a new title, vice president of finance, that comes with increased autonomy in making monetary decisions for the company.

“The basic idea is passing the torch,” Ayers said of the changes, noting he “recognizes this new team of younger executives need to have the authority as well as the responsibility for charting the course” of the company.

Davis said he was flattered and “dumbstruck” when Ayers offered him the associate publisher position and told him he was being groomed to take over as publisher.

“I was speechless,” the Star editor said. “I never saw this path.”

Ayers called Davis’ promotion “a recognition of the holistic thinking that Bob does.”

Davis, 47, started in the newspaper profession in 1988, working for a twice-weekly paper in Georgia. His career eventually took him to Texas, where he was the op-ed/Sunday editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In 2003, he took a job at The Star as the editorial page editor, electing to return to the state where he grew up out of a desire to cover Alabama and a fascination with “this newspaper and its fantastic reputation.”

Davis has been editor since 2006.

Jackson, an Anniston native, came to work at Consolidated Publishing in 2003 and since then has worked “in or with each department at The Star as well as different roles with all of Consolidated’s respective publications.”

As vice president of sales, Jackson most recently has overseen advertising for The Star and the weekly publications for Piedmont, Jacksonville, Oxford and Cleburne County. Under his new title of vice president of operations, Jackson, 44, will continue to focus on advertising sales and revenue but will also spend time working with leaders of the production, circulation, technology and news departments.

“The department heads and employees in those departments certainly do a very fine job,” Jackson said. “My style is not to micromanage.”

Meanwhile, as the new vice president of finance, Calhoun said he will be more involved in planning strategies for the company and exploring new sources of revenue.

“It’s a nice challenge,” said Calhoun, who’s worked at Consolidated since 1995. “It should be exciting to move the company forward.”

The Star publisher said both he and company president Phillip A. Sanguinetti were pleased with the leadership changes.

“That’s the team of the future,” Ayers said.

Star staff writer Cameron Steele: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @Csteele_star.
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