Gannett names former We Company, Time Warner executive as chief financial officer

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Gannett, the owner of USA TODAY and more than 260 other daily publications, appointed a new chief financial officer as the company navigates the coronavirus pandemic.

Gannett said Monday that Douglas E. Horne was appointed as CFO effective Tuesday. He replaces Alison “Ali” Engel, who stepped down at the end of the first quarter.

Horne most recently served as global controller for the We Company, which includes commercial real estate leasing firm WeWork. Before that, he spent eight years as an executive at Warner Media, formerly known as Time Warner, where he served as senior vice president and controller.  

Horne, a graduate of Virginia Tech University and a certified public accountant, is a former deputy CFO and chief accounting officer for AOL.

“We are thrilled to welcome Doug to our leadership team,” Gannett Chairman and CEO Michael Reed said in a statement. “With over 20 years of media-specific finance experience, including establishing the public-company finance and accounting functions for the spin-off of AOL from Time Warner, as well as leading the administrative integration planning and cost synergies program for the AT&T and Time Warner merger, Doug is a perfect fit for our organization.”

Coronavirus response: Gannett suspends dividend and implements cost cuts to offset impact of COVID-19

Gannett is in the midst of a cost-cutting campaign as it deals with a decline in advertising due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The company said April 1 that it suspended its dividend. It announced plans to implement $100 million to $125 million in cost cuts, including executive pay reductions and three one-week furloughs for newsroom employees. The cuts announced April 1 are in addition to planned reductions tied to the merger of New Media Investment Group and the “old” Gannett, which formed the “new” Gannett when the deal was closed in November.

Gannett shares closed down 17.8% to 67 cents Monday before the CFO announcement. The stock has suffered in recent weeks, having traded above $4 as recently as a month ago.

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