Monday, August 18, 2008

Mark Kurtich Former SVP Production in the News

Jesse Espinoza with Mark Kurtich
By Debra GruszeckiThe Desert Sun

PALM SPRINGS — Mark Kurtich, a former senior vice president executive of operations with the Los Angeles Times, has joined The Desert Sun as its production director.

Richard Ramhoff, the Sun's president and publisher, said Kurtich brings considerable experience in management and production at newspapers both large and small.

"He began his career as a compositor and worked his way up into senior management,'' Ramhoff said. “I'm confident that The Desert Sun will benefit greatly from his skills and savvy.”

Kurtich said he is thrilled to be at the production helm.

“I've been pleased with the dedication toward this newspaper, and its mission,'' he said.

“Of all the employees, particularly the people I've been getting to know in the production side, there's a real belief in this newspaper,'' Kurtich said. “And, they understand the importance of serving our readers.”

Kurtich, the son of a printer, began his newspaper career at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut when the industry began its transition from the Linotype hot-metal typecasting to the digital age.

He rose through the ranks at the Courant to become that paper's vice president of circulation, production and customer service.

Recruited in April 1997 to the Los Angeles Times by the Times Mirror Co. to manage an $80 million-plus operating budget and 1,200 employees in print and production, Kurtich selected and put into play $100 million of new capital equipment and technology.

While there, Kurtich had full responsibility for a $72 million operating budget and $120 million supply chain budget to oversee four production facilities, one being a wholly-owned subsidiary designed in 2002 to grow share in the highly competitive preprint market.

Later, the recipient of a Tribune Co. management award in 2002 for leadership and operational improvement led a $45 million upgrade as a precursor to print operation consolidation.

“Small is going to be more fun,'' he said of The Desert Sun, noting that the size of the L.A. Times made it difficult to get to know co-workers. “Here, there's camaraderie and teamwork.”

Initial goals for Kurtich include ensuring an effective and efficient operation and to capitalize on its quality.

“It's a well-produced paper that will become more effective in helping the news and advertising side of the business deliver what customers need and want in a quality package,” he said.

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