A quick online look at new Ledger Publisher Jerome Ferson

Friday morning The Ledger announced Jerome Ferson would take over as Publisher on July 30.

Here’s the results of a very quick online look at Ferson:

• – The Aberdeen News circulation is reported as: 16,046 daily; 17,844 Sunday (Aberdeen News). The Ledger’s circulation has been reported as: 65,987 daily; Sunday, 81,366. (nationwideadvertising.com)

• – After the initial meeting with their executive editor, the Aberdeen reporters were reduced to interviewing the publisher, Jerome Ferson, about prospective buyers as if he were someone at any other unaffiliated company. Ms. Mettler said that was one of the most “weird” aspects of this reporting experience. — How Aberdeen reporters covered the sale of their own paper.

• – “It’s a thrilling time to join The Ledger – a challenging time,” Ferson said. “I’m happy to be at The Ledger to lead us into a new era of digital technology.” — Today’s Ledger

• – “Jerome Ferson was brought to the Tribune as Director of Operations in March 1999 to tackle these challenges. Among the problems he quickly identified were flaws in the distribution process that caused delays in the pressroom and mailroom, and that also affected on-time delivery to individual subscribers. ” – Start Spreading the Newsedge

• – “Jerome Ferson, publisher of the Aberdeen American News. The newspaper’s news is undercut by editorial selections that belie a bias toward oppression and manipulation. The printing of letters-to-the-editor show blatant manipulation to cast those supporting the publication’s ultra-conservative agenda in the best light, while refusing to print, delaying publication, and burying letters with opposing points of views. It might be interesting to hear Ferson explain the newspaper’s editorial policy, but he does not come from an editorial background. Ferson comes from the accounting and financial side of the news business.” – Northern Valley Beacon

• – “Knight Ridder announced today the appointment of Jerome Ferson to president and publisher of the (Aberdeen, S.D.) American News. Ferson is currently vice president/administration for the Duluth News Tribune. Ferson, 32, will start in the new job Feb. 28 (2005). … Ferson came to the News Tribune five years ago, beginning as an operations and human resources director, moving to interim advertising director, then to human resources director and, finally, to his current job. Simultaneously, he has earned his B.A. from the College of St. Scholastica with a major in management/organizational behavior. He graduated with highest honors. A native of Rochester, Minn., Ferson began his newspaper career at the (Rochester) Post-Bulletin, working a variety of jobs in distribution and production. He has participated in a number of industry and Knight Ridder training programs, including the API executive development program and Knight Ridder Executive Academy. — PR Newswire

Ferson seems to be a talent, someone who has moved quickly through the ranks. That bodes well for The Ledger. I’ll admit I’d prefer a publisher who has spent more time reporting the news than selling it, but that’s a rarity these days.

I hope Ferson doesn’t lead the Ledger into one policy from his old paper. The Aberdeen News charges to view full text archived articles — “Pricing for articles will range from $2.95 per document to as low as $2.00 per document, depending on what type of package you purchase.”