Northwest newspaper executive David Pero has been named group publisher of The Daily Astorian and its companion publications on the Oregon Coast. He succeeds Steve Forrester, who is retiring as publisher after 28 years in Astoria.
Pero, 59, will serve as editor and publisher of The Daily Astorian. As group publisher, he will oversee all operations on the coast for the Astorian, Seaside Signal, Cannon Beach Gazette, Coast River Business Journal and Chinook Observer. Matt Winters remains editor and publisher of the Observer.
He will begin work in Astoria on July 11.
“I really look forward to joining The Daily Astorian, which has such a great history of serving Astoria and all of the coastal communities, and to continuing that mission and tradition. It is an outstanding family-owned company, with an excellent staff in a terrific community. I can’t wait to be part of each,” Pero said.
Pero most recently was chief operating officer for the Register-Guard in Eugene. In that capacity, Pero was responsible for day-to-day operations of that family-owned 55,000-circulation daily newspaper, along with several niche publications and digital publishing. Other responsibilities included financial and budgeting oversight, strategic positioning, new business and commercial printing development.
During Pero’s tenure at the newspaper, it was twice awarded the Oregon Newspaper Publisher’s Association’s highest honor for overall general excellence. Its website was named best in the state for several years. The newspaper was also recognized for excellence by several national organizations.
Before joining the Register-Guard in 2007, Pero spent 17 years in Beaumont, Texas, as assistant to the publisher of a 50,000-circulation daily newspaper owned by Hearst, a multinational media company. He was responsible for general administration, new product and business development, marketing, legal, personnel/human resources, production, technology, and corporate communications. He also was responsible for the profit and loss for five weekly newspapers, as well as niche and digital publishing.
Pero began his newspaper career in Florida as a reporter and photographer. He moved to the Clearwater Sun, a 40,000-circulation daily, where he rose through the ranks in newsroom management, eventually becoming executive editor.
A graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in journalism, Pero also participated in continuing education programs for newspaper executives at the American Press Institute and the Media Management Center at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Forrester, who will remain as president and CEO of EO Media Group after retiring as publisher of the Astorian, said his family-owned company was seeking a veteran newspaper executive with strong business credentials and experience in digital publishing.
“David Pero will bring to this job two things that are essential for our company,” Forrester said. “He has worked in a family-owned newspaper company, which is the essence of what we are. Secondly, his experience in Texas and Eugene gives him a strong grasp of all facets of our enterprise: news, advertising, production and circulation.”
Pero said he is an avid college football fan and likes all sports, including baseball and NASCAR. “In my spare time I also am a bit of history buff and like reading historical novels and biographies,” he said. Pero has been involved with youth sports organizations and United Way.
Pero and his wife, Victoria, will relocate in the Astoria area. They have two grown sons.