SANTA ANA — Howard Grothe, 74, is retiring from the senior advertising position at the Orange County Register, the newspaper said Tuesday.
Grothe led the Register through three years--1988 to 1991--when the newspaper was No. 1 in North America in advertising linage, said Mike Lednovich, a spokesman for Freedom Newspapers Inc., parent of the Register. Linage is the number of printed lines on a page.
Ron Redfern, 46, has been chosen to succeed Grothe as vice president of advertising and marketing, effective Monday. Redfern is now vice president of production and interim marketing director.
Redfern is "a consummate marketing executive who brings significant leadership experience in a managerial capacity," said his boss, John Schueler, executive vice president and general manager for the Register.
Redfern was president and chief executive officer of Golden West Publishing Co. before the chain of Los Angeles and Orange County weeklies was bought by Freedom Newspapers in 1989. He has held marketing positions, Schueler said, with Flying Tiger Lines, Harte-Hanks Communications and Media General Inc.
Schueler credited Grothe with building a strong classified advertising base for the Register and with attracting major retail advertisers, such as the Broadway and May Co. department stores and Lucky and Ralphs supermarkets.
In the 1960s, when Grothe was with the Miami Herald, that newspaper held the distinction of having the most advertising linage, Lednovich said.