George Irish, 65, yesterday announced yesterday he is stepping down as head of Hearst Newspapers and will be replaced by Steven R. Swartz, 46, a Hearst vp who earlier in his career was a reporter with the Wall Street Journal.
The announcements were made by Frank A. Bennack Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Hearst Corp., and will be effective Jan. 1.
The press release from Hearst says that under Swartz's leadership, Hearst played a key role in founding the newspaper industry's consortium with Yahoo, launching the industry's partnership with the online real estate company Zillow and forming quadrantONE, a national online sales network co-owned by Hearst, The New York Times Company, Gannett and Tribune.
Before joining Hearst in 2001, Swartz was president and chief executive of SmartMoney, the magazine, Web site and custom publishing business co-owned by Hearst and Dow Jones. Prior to becoming CEO in 1995, Swartz had been the magazine's founding editor since 1991.
Swartz began his journalism career as a reporter with the Wall Street Journal in 1984 after graduating from Harvard. He served as an editor on the Journal's Page One staff from 1989 to 1991.