Peter Newton, a long-time interactive-media expert who was most recently chief operating officer of GateHouse Media, has joined the Local Media Association to manage its “Accelerate Local” project. The project is described as “an innovation machine” that is “purpose-built to discover, develop and implement transformative business models that ensure a thriving future for local news.”

Wow — good luck with that. And we’re being sarcastic, but we mean it seriously.

Peter Newton

Peter Newton

Newton (LinkedIn profile) has had a hand in a number of classified and digital media initiatives. He was SVP and GM of small and medium business programs for Monster.com, and then initiatives SVP and GM of media alliances for Monster. He was VP of Helium.com, a content company, and later managed all sorts of interactive-media projects for GateHouse. He served on the board of the Local Media Consortium for two years and has been on the board of the Local Media Association for almost six years. He’s based in Massachusetts.

The Local Media Association, headed by Nancy Lane, has been growing again after a period of retrenchment. It’s involved in projects with the Google News Initiative and the Facebook Journalism Project. In its news statement about the Accelerate Local program, it said, “There’s an urgent need for new, bold business models that ensure the future of local news now.

“Building on LMA’s history of helping media companies with their digital transformation strategies along with the ability to bring strategic partners together, we intend to make Accelerate Local an innovation machine, to revitalize the businesses that provide resources for quality local news and a thriving journalism ecosystem.”

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