After nearly 4½ years as The Cincinnati Enquirer's managing editor, Hollis Towns is leaving the newspaper for a job in New Jersey.
Enquirer employees learned today that Towns has accepted a position at the Asbury Park Press. Amid cost cutting at Gannett-owned newspapers nationwide, Towns' position at The Enquirer won't be replaced, sources said.
The Asbury Park Press has fewer readers than The Enquirer, according to recent reports from the Audit Bureau of Circulation. The New Jersey paper has 145,508 daily readers and 192,581 on Sundays. By comparison, The Enquirer has 206,320 daily readers and 290,500 Sunday readers.
Towns joined The Enquirer in May 2004 after a stint as the managing editor at the Kalamazoo Gazette in Michigan. He started his journalism career as a general assignment reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1988, where he held a number of positions during a 12-year period there, including general assignment reporter for zoned editions, Olympics reporter, and covering the housing and civil-rights beats.
During his time at The Enquirer, several reporters and editors complained about Towns’ management style, calling him aloof and disconnected from the community and the newsroom.
With Gannett’s stock price falling in recent months, the company has begun trimming positions at its newspapers. The Enquirer recently accepted applications for voluntary severance packages from 60 employees, including 15 in the newsroom.
— Kevin Osborne