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Mebane to Head New Piedmont Newspaper Group

ARLINGTON, Va. — William deB. (Bern) Mebane has been named senior group president of the newly created Piedmont Newspaper Group, it was announced today.

Mebane had been president of the Multimedia Newspaper Company. The acquisition of Multimedia, Inc., by Gannett was completed on Dec. 4.

“We are extremely pleased Bern Mebane is joining Gannett as a senior member of the newspaper management team,” said Gary L. Watson, president of the Gannett Newspaper Division.

“Bern’s outstanding record as a newspaper executive speaks for itself,” Watson said. “We look forward to working together on the assimilation of the Multimedia newspapers and in the ongoing management of the new Piedmont Newspaper Group.”

“I am happy to be joining Gannett and to be heading up the new Piedmont Group while working with Gary Watson,” Mebane said. “I am pleased with the opportunities afforded by Gannett to my former associates, their properties and to myself, and I am eager to begin the transition.”

The Piedmont Newspaper Group, one of eight groups in the Newspaper Division, will include the former Multimedia newspapers in Greenville, S.C.; Asheville, N.C.; Montgomery, Ala.; Staunton, Va.; Mountain Home, Ark.; Gallipolis, Ohio; Pomeroy, Ohio; and Point Pleasant, W.Va., as well as Gannett newspapers in Huntington, W.Va.; Marietta and Chillicothe, Ohio.

Two former Multimedia operations will join other Gannett newspaper groups. Middle Tennessee Newspapers, which includes the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, weekly newspapers and specialty publications, becomes part of the South Newspaper Group. The Moultrie (Ga.) Observer joins the Gulf Coast Newspaper Group.

Mebane becomes a member of the Gannett Newspaper Operating Committee. He will continue to be based in Greenville, S.C.

Mebane, 46, joined Multimedia in 1971. He served in a variety of management positions, including general manager and publisher, at the Greenville News and Piedmont before becoming president of the Multimedia Newspaper Company in 1989.

He is a past president and chairman of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) and currently is treasurer and a board member of the SNPA Foundation. He also is a past president of the South Carolina Press Association. Mebane is in his second term as chairman of the nominating committee of The Associated Press. He also is active in several Greenville civic and philanthropic organizations and newspaper industry associations.

Mebane is a native of Durham, N.C., and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has completed additional studies at Clemson and Furman universities, as well as the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg and the University of North Carolina.

He is married to the former Catharine Frampton McGee of Charleston, S.C. They have six children.

Gannett is a nationwide news and information company that publishes 92 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and USA WEEKEND, a newspaper magazine. Gannett also has entertainment programming, operates 15 television stations, 13 radio stations, cable television systems in five states, security systems and the largest outdoor advertising company in North America.