Veteran journalist John Paton has been named CEO of MediaNews Group, the second largest U.S. media news chain and publisher of the Denver Post, Salt Lake Tribune, and others.

Veteran journalist John Paton has been named CEO of MediaNews Group, the second largest U.S. media news chain and publisher of the Denver Post, Salt Lake Tribune, and others.

Paton is the former CEO of Canoe Inc, and former VP of Sun Media. He's also former publisher of the London Free Press and the Ottawa Sun. He is currently a director at Postmedia. He co-founded Spanish-language publication ImpreMedia in 2003.

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Paton became CEO after MediaNews merged with the Journal Register Company earlier this week. The companies will operate under a new common management structure called Digital First; Paton replaces former CEO Dean Singleton (who is now MediaNews' executive chair) and will be CEO of both companies.

And, as the name suggests, Paton intends to focus on a digital first strategy. To read more of what that might look like, check out Nieman Lab's Q&A with Dean Singleton, or GigaOm's article by Mathew Ingram, "Is John Paton the savior newspapers have been waiting for?"