Newsday publisher Tim Knight resigns

Tim Knight resigns as Newsday publisher and chief Tim Knight resigns as Newsday publisher and chief executive on Sept. 23, 2009. Photo Credit: Newsday / Ken Sawchuk

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Timothy P. Knight resigned Wednesday as Newsday publisher after five years of leading Long Island's daily through tumultuous times for the paper and the industry.

Cablevision, which owns Newsday, named Terry Jimenez, publisher of the Newsday-owned amNewYork, acting publisher of Newsday.

The changes were announced in an e-mailed statement by Tad Smith, president of Cablevision Systems Corp.'s local media unit, which includes Newsday and News 12.

In an e-mail to staff, Knight said, "Now is the right time to let others move our business forward."

Knight had joined Newsday as executive vice president and general manager in 2003 -- an executive from then-owner Tribune Co. of Chicago. He became publisher in 2004, after a scandal in which certain Newsday circulation department employees were found to be inflating sales figures.

"His unimpeachable integrity and determined leadership systematically rebuilt Newsday and its trust among its advertisers, readers and communities," Smith said of Knight in his note Wednesday.

Jimenez, who joined Newsday in 2005 as chief financial officer, became publisher of amNewYork, the free New York City commuter daily, in July 2007. He was given the additional title of chief operating officer of Newsday Media Group in September 2008. Before joining Newsday, Jimenez had been controller for the Chicago Tribune and was finance director at McDonald's Corp.

Knight's departure comes at a time when Newsday, like most major newspapers, is struggling with declining circulation and advertising revenues as more readers get their news from the Internet and other electronic sources and advertisers follow them. The downturn in ad revenue has been exacerbated by the economic recession.

In July, Cablevision said its overall profits declined but sales went up in its second quarter, which ended June 30. The Bethpage-based company said it earned $87 million, compared with $94.7 million in the same period last year. In line with analysts' expectations, revenue grew nearly 10 percent to $1.88 billion in the quarter, in part because of its cable and other telecommunication services.

But the company reported that Newsday, which it bought in the summer of 2008 from the Tribune Co., had an operating loss of $2.6 million.

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