The Washington Examiner said yesterday that publisher and president James McDonald has stepped down and is being replaced by Herbert W. Moloney III, a veteran advertising executive of two metropolitan daily newspapers.
McDonald, 42, said he is leaving to start his own publishing venture but will remain a consultant to Clarity Media Inc., the holding company controlled by Denver billionaire Philip F. Anschutz that owns the Examiner tabloids in Washington and in San Francisco.
McDonald is leaving behind a fledgling publishing enterprise that Anschutz hopes to replicate in nearly 70 other U.S. cities, where he has trademarked the Examiner name.
But to make the Examiner successful, Moloney, formerly a senior vice president for sales and marketing at the Philadelphia Inquirer and retail advertising manager at the Miami Herald, will have to attract new advertisers in a market with two established dailies -- The Washington Post and the Washington Times -- as well as a competing free tabloid, Express.
Express is owned by The Washington Post Co.
The Examiner has also faced complaints from residents who say they keep receiving the free paper even though they have asked not to.
The newspaper's business plan bets that its free delivery in well-to-do neighborhoods will attract advertisers. Officials at the paper would not discuss their ad sales in detail, but McDonald said they have improved since the February launch.
"On certain days -- Thursday, Friday and Sunday -- the paper is doing well. It continues to pick up new advertisers. In the past week, we added Modell's Sporting Goods," he said.
On the distribution front, the Examiner has been criticized by some residents for overzealous home delivery. In a Feb. 17 Sun Gazette story, Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette called the onslaught of Examiner papers on people's stoops "offensive."
Arlington resident Kenneth Danforth said he has tried to stop home delivery of the Examiner to no avail. He e-mailed the newspaper twice to ask it to stop delivering. His e-mails came back as undeliverable, he said. He called twice and was told on both occasions the papers would stop.