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Los Angeles blogger Matthew Fleischer, who writes "FishbowlLA" at MediaBistro.com, has posted a memo from new Union-Tribune chief operating officer Mike Hodges regarding the departure of Mark Ficarra, former Torrance Daily Breeze publisher and current VP of sales and marketing at the U-T.

"I wanted to let you know that Mark Ficarra is leaving us as of December 21st to return to Phoenix to focus on his Bottom Line Consulting company," says the memo, dated yesterday.

"Bottom Line Consulting offers services to media companies throughout the country as they emerge from the prolonged economic difficulties.

"Mark’s contribution to the U-T has been nothing short of 'unbelievable.' Through Mark’s leadership the Union-Tribune has led the industry in overall advertising revenue growth during the last 24 months.

"He has built a foundation in the sales and marketing department that we can build on for years to come. My thanks to him for his leadership, stewardship and most importantly friendship."

Hodges also disclosed that Joe Brenneman is the paper's new chief revenue officer.

"Joe comes to us most recently from the Baltimore Sun Media Group where he served as Senior Vice-President Sales & Marketing. Prior to Baltimore, Joe was Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Los Angeles News Group.

"Joe and I are former colleagues from the Orange County Register. I am very excited to be working side by side with him again as we continue our transformation in to a fully integrated media company."

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Visduh Dec. 9, 2011 @ 9:24 a.m.

Man, these titles are something! Chief Revenue Officer? That could mean just about anything you want it to mean, and that's probably why the term was picked. As in, "Come on board, and then we'll figure out what we want you doing."

As to Ficarra, we are told of his "unbelievable contribution" and the stellar performance of the rag in advertising revenue growth on his watch. Then he leaves. Does this make any sense in a rational world? If he did all that, they should keep him in place for as long as possible. Ahh, but this is the Light News, now owned by Manchester and run by Lynch, and the usual rules of the universe don't apply.

When I was buying advertising, and I spent $ millions every year for a number of years, such turbulence at a newspaper was always off-putting and alarming. These frequent and massive changes do nothing to advance their cause or the paper's prosperity.


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