David Dadisman named publisher of The Herald

EVERETT — David Dadisman was named The Daily Herald’s new publisher on Thursday, and made it clear that he’s here to stay to keep the company’s focus firmly local.

Dadisman, 53, grew up in a newspaper household and has worked in newspaper management positions since graduating from the University of Georgia. He has been The Daily Herald Co.’s general manager since January 2010 and will keep that role, along with his new one as publisher.

Dadisman replaces Allen Funk, who retired as the paper’s publisher last year.

“The core of our business is our community and focusing on what people care about, high school sports and everything else that people care about in Snohomish County,” Dadisman said. “World and national news is important, but it’s not our core business. People can get that information from all kinds of other places.”

That core business includes an array of locally focused community and business news, prep sports and features. Advertising aims to accommodate businesses big and small.

The Daily Herald Co. is a unit of The Washington Post Co.’s newspaper publishing division, which announced Dadisman’s new role.

“We are delighted that David has agreed to make Everett his home and The Daily Herald Company’s business his focus,” said Ann McDaniel, senior vice president of The Washington Post Co.

McDaniel said Dadisman’s challenges will be the same as those faced throughout the newspaper industry: continuing to provide quality journalism with relevant print and online products.

Said Dadisman: “Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good, so let’s get good products going and we’ll perfect them over time.”

Count on more print and digital changes in the months and years ahead, including more mobile apps for phones and tablet computers.

Among the new publisher’s immediate tasks is choosing a successor for Bob Bolerjack, The Herald’s editorial page editor of the past 10 years. Bolerjack is leaving June 8 to take a job with the Snohomish County Public Utility District.

In a larger sense, Dadisman will oversee the business of The Daily Herald’s print and online publications.

“We’re growing revenues where we can,” Dadisman said.

The Daily Herald’s Sunday circulation was 50,795 for the sixth-month period that ended in March, about a 3 percent increase compared with a year earlier. Average daily circulation dipped about 3 percent during the same period, to 46,481.

In addition to The Daily Herald newspaper and HeraldNet.com, The Daily Herald Co. publishes The Weekly Herald, a free community newspaper, as well as the monthly Herald Business Journal and La Raza del Noroeste, a weekly Spanish-language newspaper, and their websites. Combined, all The Daily Herald Co. products reach an estimated two-thirds of adults in Snohomish County every week.

People can expect to see a seven-day-a-week newspaper in Snohomish and Island counties for the foreseeable future, he said. That’s in contrast to a few newspapers that have scaled back in some other markets, such as The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which announced last week it would print only three days every week, instead of seven.

“That’s what we want to stay away from, is breaking people’s habits,” Dadisman said.

HeraldNet.com will continue to evolve, he said. The company will discuss a pay model, similar to the approach of NYTimes.com and other news websites that have had success charging for access to some content.

“We haven’t taken that step, but that’s something we will look at,” Dadisman said.

Advertising dollars are a challenge. The Daily Herald Co. continues to tailor its advertising packages to meet the needs of businesses and customers, Dadisman said.

“Advertisers have more choices than ever and they’re targeting their audiences better, so we need to help them do that,” he said.

Dadisman grew up in Georgia, where his father worked as a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor.

He graduated in 1982 from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He received a master’s in economics from George Mason University.

Dadisman’s career has revolved around newspapers. He joined The Washington Post in 1989 as a circulation zone manager after seven years in management positions with Knight–Ridder newspapers in North Carolina and Indiana. From 1997 through 2000, he was director of consumer marketing and later circulation director for the Houston Chronicle. He rejoined The Washington Post as vice president of circulation in January 2001.

Dadisman and his wife, Beth, have two adult children. In his spare time, he rides a BMW motorcycle and has come to enjoy riding Snohomish County’s back roads.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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