"Alexandra Villoch, senior vice president of advertising and marketing for the Miami Herald Media Company, has been named president of the company and publisher of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald," the Herald is reporting.
So, who is Alexandra Villoch, and what are her qualifications to lead Florida's
Well, in addition to being "senior vice president of advertising and marketing for the Miami Herald Media Company," the Herald reports, "She also is active in civic affairs, serving on the executive committee of The Beacon Council, on the board of governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors for the Miami Dade College Foundation."
From a June 4, 2008 Herald story:
The Miami Herald Media Co.'s top advertising executive, Alexandra Villoch, is leaving the publishing company to lead the Zoological Society of Florida, which raises money for Miami Metrozoo.But, less than three weeks later, she was back at the paper:
The move comes at a crucial time for Metrozoo, which is undergoing a multimillion-dollar makeover and needs a skilled leader with a record of successful fundraising and civic involvement.
Villoch, a veteran South Florida executive who had a long career in the banking and airline industries before joining The Herald in 2000, fits that bill. She already sits on boards of several local organizations, including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Miami Dade College Foundation.
For Miami Herald Media Co., which publishes The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, Villoch 's departure comes as the newspaper industry faces major challenges holding onto advertisers as more readers turn to the Internet.
Villoch said zoo executives sought her out.
"I'm happy here, but this was an opportunity," she said. "The ability to work hand in hand with the zoo and the board to market the zoo to our community not only as a local resource, not only as an educational resource but also worldwide, well, it's a combination of everything I've done in my career."
Alexandra Villoch, The Miami Herald Media Co.'s top advertising executive, has had a "change of heart" about her decision three weeks ago to become the president and chief executive of the Zoological Society of Florida, which raises money for Miami Metrozoo.Also not mentioned in today's Herald story on Villoch's appointment is that she has no journalism experience. None. Zero.
Villoch will resume her post as senior vice president for advertising for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, publisher David Landsberg announced Monday.
In an e-mail to Herald employees, Landsberg quoted Villoch. "Our audience reach places us in a unique position," she said, according to Landsberg's message. "This is a combination that spells success for the future, and I want to be part of getting us there."
In an email this morning, one newsroom veteran told me, "Wow, we are really getting near the bottom now, at least so far as qualifications and previous experience."
|Alexandra Villoch, the Miami Herald's new |
publisher, may not have any journalism experience,
but she knows how to tweet!
But not everyone at the Herald thinks the promotion of someone as unqualified as Villoch is such a bad idea.
Within minutes of this morning's announcement, the Herald's worst columnist, Fabiola Santiago, posted this on Facebook: "This makes a Cuban-American female trifecta in Miami Herald-El Nuevo Herald leadership. I have lived to see the day -- and I love it. Wow."
The Herald story on Villoch's appointment also neglects to mention that for the past year or so, she's been publisher of the paper's glossy tribute to conspicuous consumption, INDULGE Magazine.
But the fact that Villoch has no journalism experience, doesn't mean she can't hold her own when it comes to crafting a memorable paragraph or two.
In the current "Spring Home and Design" issue of INDULGE, Villoch writes, "What makes a home truly special? It may be a captivating location, historic architecture, intriguing art collection or innovative interior design. But at the end of the day, it's the memories we create in our home that make the most lasting impression..."
In the February "Food and Wine" issue, Villoch shared a secret with the magazine's readers: "I have actually booked an entire vacation around visiting a specific restaurant! Many years ago, at a cooking class at the Biltmore Hotel, I met the chef from la Chevre d'Or in Eze, France. Several years later, I planned a vacation around a visit to his hotel and restaurant." I'm sure the paper's readers in East Little Havana and Liberty City can relate to those sentiments.
If the goal of the bosses at McClatchy, the Herald's parent company, was to pick a publisher that would further widen the gap between the paper's leadership, and its journalists and readers, then they've succeeded on a grand scale.
God help us all.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALEXANDRA VILLOCH SUCCEEDS DAVID LANDSBERG AS PUBLISHER OF
MIAMI HERALD AND EL NUEVO HERALD
MIAMI, Florida, April 7, 2014 – The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) today named Alexandra Villoch as president and publisher of the Miami Herald Media Company, which publishes the Miami Herald and the Spanish-language el Nuevo Herald newspapers and their affiliated print and digital products.
Villoch has been the senior vice president for advertising and marketing at the Miami Herald Media Company since 2005. She replaces David Landsberg, who previously announced his departure to become president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of South Florida. Villoch begins her new role April 14.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a savvy, accomplished media executive as Alex in-house and ready to step up into this important post,” said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s president and CEO. “We’re excited about the future of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald under Alex’s leadership.”
Villoch, 56, joined the Miami Herald Media Company in 2000 as national advertising director and became the director of retail advertising and event marketing in 2001. She joined the company’s executive ranks in 2005 as the senior vice president for advertising and marketing. In that capacity, she was responsible for leading and developing sales and advertising strategies across all product lines as well as spearheading the company’s marketing efforts. She also headed HCP/Aboard, the company’s custom publishing division that produces 36 different books and publications with more than 115 editions.
“Alex is fiercely committed to Miami and is equally passionate about the Herald’s vital role in that community,” said Mark Zieman, McClatchy’s vice president of operations. “She is a proven innovator, a respected leader and a vocal champion of our successful transformation into a digitally focused media company. Alex is perfectly suited for her new role.”
Prior to joining the Miami Herald Media Company, Villoch worked for United Airlines and was the airline’s general manager for Miami International Airport and the Caribbean with responsibility for all passenger and cargo operations, sales and government relations.
Villoch, who is fluent in Spanish, was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to the United States with her parents at age 2. Her father worked for a global construction company and Villoch moved often during childhood, including stays in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Peru, Louisiana and Texas.
She moved in with relatives in Miami to finish high school, attended Miami Dade College and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and an MBA from the University of Miami. She is married to Cesar Mendoza, a McClatchy Company IT employee. They have four adult children.
Villoch said she was both excited and honored to lead the Miami Herald Media Company.
“We have a talented, motivated and passionate team,” she said, “and together we will work to carry out our mission of serving our diverse and vibrant community with quality journalism and products across all media platforms. I look forward to working to strengthen our position and grow our reach.”
Villoch is extremely active in the Miami community. Over the years, she has served on numerous civic and charitable boards and won many honors for both her citizen and professional leadership. She presently serves on the executive committee of The Beacon Council, on the board of governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and also on the board of directors for the Miami Dade College Foundation.