America's largest newspaper publisher, Gannett Company, has appointed a new ceo.

Craig Dubow (50), currently head of Gannett's broadcast division, will assume the role in July, replacing Douglas McCorkindale who will stay on as chairman until summer 2006.

Virginia-headquartered Gannett publishes 102 daily newspapers across the US including the top-selling USA Today. It owns 21 TV stations and controls dozens of internet sites sponsored by its television and press interests. It is also the second largest newspaper company in the UK.

Although the incumbent was not available for comment, Dubow said in a statement: "I am eager to lead Gannett through this important time of transition in our new, digital world."

He added: "The strength of Gannett's traditional businesses will provide the base for our future growth in new technologies and changing ways to deliver our news and information for our readers, viewers and advertisers."

Under McCorkindale, who became ceo in 2000, Gannett has increased sales to $7.38 billion (€5.85bn; £4.03bn).

Some analysts expressed surprise at the choice of Dubow over Gary Watson, head of the company's newspaper division. Just 11% of Gannett's 2004 revenue came from broadcasting, with 83% coming from newspapers and the rest from other lines of business.

Data sourced from Washington Post Online; additional information by WARC staff