Gannett Digital Hires New National Sales Head

Gannett Digital has hired a new national digital sales head. As vice president of sales for Gannett Digital, Andy Jacobson will lead national sales for Gannett’s network of Web sites and communities.

“The hiring of Andy will help Gannett focus our sales efforts across our various brands — USAToday, MomsLikeMe, High School Sports, and Metromix,” explained Gannett Chief Digital Officer and SVP Chris Saridakis. In an e-mail sent to ClickZ News, he added, “Our overall goal is to offer advertisers the right inventory and reach based on our brands and audience. Andy has been successful building out many sales teams across industry-leading companies.” He will report to Saridakis.

Jacobson most recently served as SVP of sales at Email Data Source, a firm providing information about the e-mail marketing efforts of thousands of brands. He left the firm last week, according to Email Data Source founder Bill McCloskey, who told ClickZ the Gannett position “was a great opportunity for [Jacobson] and he has a lot of experience in the media space so it was a good fit.”

Jacobson also has sales and business development experience from previous work with MediaWhiz, ContextWeb, DoubleClick, and ValueClick. He replaces former Gannett’s VP of Digital Sales Lorraine Ross, who no longer works for the company. He will lead Gannett’s digital sales team, which includes about 30 reps throughout the U.S., according to Saridakis.

In recent years, Gannett has invested heavily in its digital business, which accounts for more than 10 percent of its revenue, according to the company. Following its 2005 acquisition of rich media ad technology firm PointRoll — which brought Saridakis to Gannett — the company has continued its digital expansion. Last year, Gannett acquired social media services firm Ripple6, gained total ownership of online shopping circular company ShopLocal, and purchased a controlling stake in jobs classifieds site Careerbuilder.

Gannett in 2008 also rolled out a series of local mom-centric social sites, which are integrated with the Ripple6 platform. Ripple6 powers social communities such as Better Homes and Gardens’ recipe community Mixing Bowl, along with other branded social media efforts.

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