Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ex-Gazette publisher in the spotlight

Former Gazette publisher N. Christian Anderson III, active in the Colorado Springs business community when he headed the newspaper from mid-1994 through 1998, is receiving the red-carpet treatment from journalism industry publication Editor & Publisher. Anderson, currently the publisher and chief executive officer of the Orange County Register, was named publisher of the year by E&P. But in its May print issue, E&P is positively gushy about Anderson, noting that he "is pointing a path for newspaper revitalization in an extraordinarily challenging time for the industry." E&P also recognizes Anderson’s role in shaping the "identity" of Orange County. “It's no exaggeration to say that an amorphous area known for Disneyland, orange groves, and pretty much nothing else, became 'The O.C.' in large part because of the work of Chris Anderson and the Register he began transforming as a 30-year-old editor just arrived from Walla Walla, Washington.”

The story goes on to note Anderson's influence on Walt Disney in the creation of Mickey Mouse. Yes, we made up that last part. But E&P does credit Anderson for overseeing creation of "an impressive portfolio of products, many of them -- like the young adult-oriented Squeeze OC and the luxury Coast regional magazine brand extensions -- betraying no hint they are siblings of the Register. Anderson has created and broken apart a series of corporate organizations to keep nimble in the newspaper economy's riptide."

Anderson, 56, heads the flagship newspaper of Freedom Communications Inc., the corporate parent of The Gazette. While at The Gazette, Anderson served as board chairman of the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. He also helped lead a community effort to raise private funding to build the Colorado Springs World Arena.

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