PITTSFIELD -- The new publisher and president of New England Newspapers Inc. says he's "not a big city person," and that was one reason he sought to lead The Berkshire Eagle and its sister publications in the region.
"I was really spoiled being in Green Bay, Wisconsin," Kevin Corrado said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
For more than five years, he's been publisher and president of the Green Bay Press-Gazette and related publications in that area within the Gannett Co., and he began more than 14 years ago with the newspaper as its information technology (IT) director.
Corrado, who will replace longtime president and publisher Andrew Mick, who is retiring at the end of March, said the attractiveness of the Berkshires is enhanced because of its driveable distance from major cities. He has relatives living in eastern Massachusetts, but had not spent time in Western Massachusetts prior to a recent visit.
Working within the Digital First Media team, which jointly manages MediaNews Group (including The Berkshire Eagle) and Journal Register Co., also drew him, Corrado said.
"I love technology," he said, referring to his IT experience, "but a digital first mindset is, to me, just powerful."
Digital First Media has stressed publishing news as it happens across its Internet platforms and engagement through social media while continuing to provide comprehensive printed newspapers.
"I am thrilled to join the Digital First Media team and to lead the New England operation," he said in a release following his hiring. "I share the commitment of delivering quality news and information to our readers, our advertisers and our communities and I look forward to getting to know these communities more and learning how we can continue to meet the needs and expectations of those we serve."
Digital First Media also announced Wednesday the appointment of Edward Woods as regional vice president for sales for New England Newspapers. He joined MediaNews Group in 2005 as publisher of the Bennington Banner and The Manchester Journal in Vermont. In 2008, the Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer and affiliated publications also were placed under him.
Woods will now lead all sales efforts on all platforms for the group.
Corrado, 52, who has also worked in Arizona and in the Washington, D.C., area, said he is always cognizant of the levels of technology and quality of the Internet service available in different areas and of differing rates of acceptance on the part of consumers.
He said he doesn't see forcing new technology upon people before they are ready "as good business sense," and his role includes providing the full range of news delivery platforms readers and advertisers require while continually planning ahead.
Prior to moving to Wisconsin, he said, he worked in Arizona in an area with a high level of Internet use, but in Green Bay 14 years ago, he found broadband service lacking in many areas. "We still had a large readership taking the newspaper."
Today, that area has a growing readership accessing the news digitally, he said, while the print product also remains popular -- similar to the readership of The Eagle.
"I am looking forward to continuing my career there and to engaging with the community, and relocating my family there," he said.
Corrado has two grown children, Kasey, 22, attending a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin, and Alex, 24, in graduate school.
He expects to begin full time in Pittsfield on March 29.
Mick, the NENI publisher since 1999, described Corrado as "the consummate professional," who will arrive with a "deep newspaper and media background" after 27 years with Gannett Co.
"I think I am leaving The Eagle in very capable hands," he said.
Woods said of the announcements, "I am confident that with Kevin's hiring, and through the direction of the Digital First Media leadership team, we will continue to see significant growth. I am excited at the opportunity to expand my role in the digital transformation at New England Newspapers while continuing my work as publisher here in Southern Vermont."
Corrado will lead all NENI operations, including The Eagle, the Vermont papers, the North Adams Transcript, and The Advocate in Williamstown.
"Kevin brings a wealth of experience and innovative thinking to the organization," said Tom Wiley, executive vice president for Digital First Media. "He will be leading our digital transformation across the New England group and he has a strong and able team in place to help make this happen."