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MediaNews appoints vp for news

Denver-based MediaNews Group, which owns most of the Bay Area’s dailies including the Mercury News, has created a new top level position — vice president of news — and appointed the editor and publisher of its Detroit News to that new position. David Butler (pictured) will oversee the content of the group’s newspapers and Web sites.

“Our new partnership with Yahoo will provide us the platform to appropriately begin monetizing news content online, and Dave will spearhead our effort to provide the right content for those efforts,” said CEO Dean Singleton in a statement.

Butler will report to Singleton and chief operating officer Steve Rossi, formerly the No. 2 executive at Knight Ridder. Knight Ridder also had a vice president of news, a position held for several years by former Merc editor Jerry Ceppos and then by Carole Leigh Hutton. Hutton, former editor and publisher of Detroit’s other daily, the Free Press, is now head of MediaNews Group’s Palo Alto Daily News.

Butler, 56, became editor and publisher of The Detroit News in August 2005 when MediaNews purchased the newspaper. He previously was editor of the company’s Los Angeles Daily News as well as executive vice president for news for the nine-newspaper Los Angeles Newspaper Group. Earlier he edited newspapers in Connecticut, Florida, Colorado and Kentucky.

During Butler’s tenure, The Detroit News underwent many changes including converting to full morning publication, launching a Saturday edition and expanding detnews.com.

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