Post-Gazette new president sees communication industry in a 'transformation'
October 21, 2012 8:00 AM
By Erich Schwartzel The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Joseph Pepe, the new president of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is coming to town at a time he sees as full of opportunity for the communications industry.
"I'm bullish for this industry," he said. "I believe we're in a transformation."
Mr. Pepe starts at the Post-Gazette on Monday.
He replaces David M. Beihoff, the former president of newspaper operations for Block Communications, who has served as interim president of the Post-Gazette for the past three months.
Mr. Beihoff returned to the Post-Gazette in July after former president Christopher H. Chamberlain left the company to become chief executive officer of Novum Pharmaceutical Research Services, the East Liberty-based medical research company.
Mr. Pepe's position at the Post-Gazette is the latest move in a communications career that started during his undergraduate years at the University of Oklahoma, when he worked every summer in the newsroom and advertising departments at a newspaper in El Paso.
Over 30 years in the industry, he has worked as an executive at several national media companies, including Gannett and the E.W. Scripps Co. He most recently served as the president and publisher of The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tenn.
Along the way, Mr. Pepe has become an advocate for serving "useful, hyperlocal content that you can't get anywhere else" across multiple platforms, he said.
That content and how it's delivered should be diverse, he said, whether it's breaking news on a cell phone or interactives displayed on a tablet.
Mr. Pepe led the development of six new product lines at the Commercial Appeal, including mobile and tablet applications.
The move from Memphis will be a Pennsylvania homecoming of sorts. Mr. Pepe was born in Valley Forge, Pa., but his parents moved from the state shortly after he was born.
He will move here with his wife and two young sons who still live at home.