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By David V. Crisostomo

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Aug. 31) – A daughter of Guam has become the first Chamorro to rise to the ranks of publisher in Gannett Co. Inc., an international news and information corporation and parent company of the Pacific Daily News.

Rindraty Celes Limtiaco, formerly executive editor, was named PDN president and publisher yesterday.

Limtiaco replaces Lee P. Webber, who has served as PDN publisher since 1983.

Webber yesterday was named president and publisher of The Honolulu Advertiser, also a Gannett newspaper. He replaces Mike Fisch, who becomes president and publisher of the Journal News in Westchester County, N.Y.

"I am honored and proud to have been chosen as the next publisher of the Pacific Daily News," Limtiaco said. "This appointment means a lot to me because Guam is my home, it's where I was raised, and it's where I am raising my family.

"Doing good journalism here at home has always been very important to me. Good journalism and good business will continue to be my priorities here at the PDN."

Limtiaco said she will be settling into her new position over the next few weeks and is excited about getting started.

"I want to thank Lee Webber for his guidance and mentorship throughout my career," she said. "It will be very hard saying goodbye to someone who was not only a great boss but a very good friend.

"Lee has been an integral part of this company, and as hard as it is to see him leave, we are very proud of his appointment to Honolulu. It speaks highly of his work here on Guam."

Evan Ray, Gannett's vice president of finance for the company's Pacific Group, which includes Guam and Hawaii, was on island yesterday to announce Limtiaco's corporate appointment to PDN staff members.

Limtiaco was named PDN executive editor in 2003. She has been with the PDN since 1991 when she started as a reporter. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a graduate of George Washington High School in Mangilao.

Limtiaco is married to Steve Limtiaco, a senior PDN reporter, and has three children. Her parents are Joseph and Dewi Celes of Maina.

Webber's new challenge

Webber began his career at the Pacific Daily News in 1970 as the manager of Circulation Sales. He also was director of Circulation and director of Marketing at the newspaper before becoming president and publisher in 1983.

"It's bittersweet. It's a wonderful challenge and wonderful opportunity in Hawaii, but I leave Guam with a heavy heart because of all the friendships and relationships I've built up over the last 39 years," Webber said from Honolulu yesterday.

Webber and his wife, June, of Asan, have two children: Lee II, who is 29, and Marilyn, 15.

"June, Marilyn and I will be leaving family and friends when we move to Hawaii."

Webber praised Limtiaco's promotion.

"I think Rindraty's appointment shows the Pacific Daily News and Gannett's Grow Your Own Program is a success and that someone from Guam has worked their way through the ranks to take over the helm of Guam's daily newspaper," he said. "And the people of Guam should be both pleased and proud, as am I."

Webber added: "I think readers and advertisers will rest assured that Rindraty will continue to maintain the highest ethical standards in news and in business operations."

The chief of Gannett's Newspaper Division applauded Webber's appointment to the Advertiser.

"Lee has all the right qualities for Honolulu: He understands the Pacific better than anyone I know. He has a long record of community involvement and knows the key players in tourism, military and Asia," said Sue Clark-Johnson, president of Gannett Co.'s Newspaper Division.

Webber has served on numerous community boards and committees, including the Guam Chamber of Commerce and the Civil Defense Advisory Council/Guam Homeland Security board.

"I am excited to be here and to have a team like this in Honolulu and to make sure Mike Fisch's legacy lives on," Webber said.

"I am here to learn about the community and am excited by the challenge."


Executive appointments

The appointments were among several announced yesterday by Gannett's Clark-Johnson. The changes are effective immediately.

The other executive appointments include:


Robert T. Collins, senior group president of the Atlantic Group and president and publisher of the Asbury Park Press, will become chairman of the Asbury Park newspaper. He has announced plans to retire in March, 2008.

W. Curtis Riddle will assume responsibility for the Atlantic Group, which includes the Gannett community newspapers in New Jersey and New England. He is president and publisher of The News Journal in Wilmington, DE, and senior group president of the East Newspaper Group, which includes community newspaper operations in Delaware, Maryland, New York and Ohio.

Thomas M. Donovan, president and publisher of The Journal News in Westchester County, NY, will become president and publisher of the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. He also will be a vice president of the East Group, with responsibility for operations in New Jersey.

Laura L. Hollingsworth, general manager of The Des Moines Register, will become president and publisher of the newspaper on Sept. 7. She succeeds Mary Stier, who announced her resignation earlier this month to launch a national multimedia venture targeting women.

'Our commitment'

"To have a team as experienced and talented as this is one of the advantages of Gannett," Clark-Johnson said. "Each one brings a depth and a range of skills to their jobs, which will benefit not only their new staffs and newspapers, but also the company as a whole."

Clark-Johnson noted the promotions of locally grown Gannett executives.

"The promotions of Laura and Rindraty are testimony to our commitment to develop people and to succession planning, with two highly respected professionals moving quickly up the ladder to top executive positions," she said.

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