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Gannett names Allen Jones president of Detroit Free Press, Michigan.com

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Gannett Co. Inc.’s sales director for the Upper Midwest region will lead the business of The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

The Virginia-based media publisher named Allen Jones as president of the Free Press and Michigan.com on Tuesday, effective immediately. Jones will oversee key initiatives to help the business grow, including helping and serving the interests of the combined sales, marketing and business teams of The News and Free Press under a joint operating agreement called Michigan.com. He will also be the spokesman for the Free Press and deepen ties with the Metro Detroit community.

The joint operating agreement aims to maintain two separate and independent newsrooms with The News of the Denver-based MediaNews Group and Gannett’s Free Press, which is the general partner of the collaboration.

Jones will continue to serve as Gannett’s President of Sales for the Upper Midwest region and lead the LOCALiQ sales organizations in some of the company’s largest markets, including Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Columbus, Cincinnati and Des Moines.

“It is important to have a leader of all who can run one of the company’s key markets at this unprecedented time,” said Kathy Jack-Romero, Gannett’s president of local subway and community sales, in an email to the employees. “Allen is growth-oriented and can use the full strengths of our organization to maximize the market potential.”

Since joining Gannett in 2005, Jones has led teams at all levels of the company, including automotive advertising. The native Springfield American graduated from Missouri State University with honors. He and his wife have four children, ages 9, 7, 5 and 3.

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Dusty Kennedy