New CFO joins New England Newspapers

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PITTSFIELD, MASS. — Kathy Worth has experienced the financial side of the publishing business from different perspectives. She has served in major financial positions for a privately-owned midsize publishing company and for one of the country's largest newspaper chains.

Now, Worth is bringing that experience to Southern Vermont and the Berkshires. She was recently named chief financial officer of New England Newspapers Inc., replacing the late Frank McKenna, who served in that position for 14 years. McKenna died suddenly in October. Worth assumed her new duties at the end of last month.

New England Newspapers consists of The Berkshire Eagle and three newspapers in Vermont: the Bennington Banner, the Brattleboro Reformer and the Manchester Journal. Worth is based at NENI's headquarters in Pittsfield, Mass.

This the first CFO position for Worth, who is 57. For the past three years, she served as regional finance director for the Gannett USA Today Network, where she was responsible for providing support to the business units of three of that national chain's newspapers: the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, The Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., and the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal.

Before Gannett, Worth spent 17 years at The Taunton Press in Newtown, Conn., a privately-owned publisher of high-quality, special-interest magazines, books, websites and digital products. At Taunton, she served four years as director of finance, followed by 13 as vice president of finance.

"Her position at Taunton Press was close to being a CFO," said NENI's President and Publisher Fredric D. Rutberg. "Her position at Gannett was sort of like a regional CFO. So it was very similar to what a CFO did."

Worth, who has relocated to the Berkshires from Brookfield, Conn., said she wasn't looking for another job. But she decided to apply to become NENI's CFO because she was intrigued by the company's mission.

"Working for Gannett the last three years, there were a lot of changes," Worth said "Going to work for a company that was more concerned about the content was important to me. I thought it would be a good fit for me."

NENI was also part of two national newspaper chains, Media News Group and Digital First Media, for 20 years before it was purchased by its current ownership group, Birdland LLC, in 2016.

"The fact that she worked for a family-held company like ours and worked for a public company like Gannett made it very attractive," Rutberg said.

The search for McKenna's successor began four months ago, Rutberg said. NENI received around 20 applications for the position. Besides her previous financial experience, Worth's personality stood out from the rest of the applicants, Rutberg said.

"She was someone who was easy to talk to and fit in easily and quickly with senior management," Rutberg said. "And she's talented; the whole package."

Originally from New Jersey, Worth has also held high level financial positions with the Grolier Inc. publishing group; and Simon & Shuster, where she spent four years as vice president and business manager for Silver Burdett Ginn, one of the country's largest publishers of elementary educational materials. She also worked as a senior auditor for Gulf + Western Industries, which owns Simon & Shuster, and held other positions with Gulf + Western's successors, Paramount Communications and Viacom.

Worth holds a bachelor of science degree in commerce and accounting from Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., and is a certified public accountant in the state of New Jersey.

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.

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