Project Description

Chief executive officer, Calkins Media, Inc, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Pennsylvania with three ABC local affiliates, five daily newspapers and an extensive digital media operation with approximately 1,000 employees and roughly $100 million in revenues prior to its sale in mid-2017.

Calkins was one of the leading pioneers in the local media business to develop a presence on a variety of streaming device platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. This OTT presence assisted the local media brands at television stations and newspaper extend their brand as well as allow Calkins to serve as an OTT app developer for other leading media companies, foundations and other organizations.

Calkins newspapers were also among the leading news organizations to create video content at scale after extensive video training for all of its print journalists.

Head of the newspaper business for E.W. Scripps. He was responsible for the newspaper business of the E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, a publicly-traded (NYSE:SSP), family-controlled company with newspaper and digital operations from South Carolina to Washington state. He oversaw the acquisition of 7 businesses and the divesture of more than 4. The newspaper division of Scripps had 5,500 employees and $400 million in annual revenues. The businesses were ultimately sold to Gannett, Inc.

Head of Pulitzer Newspapers, Inc and SVP of Pulitzer, Inc. He was earlier responsible for the Pulitzer Inc newspapers outside of St. Louis, Missouri which were located from Illinois to Hawaii as well as the company’s ownership interest of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Arizona. Under his leadership, the group acquired more than 20 local businesses. The company was publicly-traded (NYSE:PTZ) but family-controlled. This area of responsibility had roughly 2,000 employees and one-half of the company’s cash flow.

President and publisher of The Times Leader. Prior to its sale to the Walt Disney Company in 1997, Contreras was President and Publisher of The Times Leader, a daily newspaper and digital company based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The company was later sold again to Knight Ridder, based in Miami, Florida.

His media career started with Capital Cities/ABC, Inc, owner of the ABC Television Network, multiple local broadcast affiliates, a significant ownership of ESPN and many newspaper operations. The company was founded by two entrepreneurs and funded by Warren Buffett.

Contreras was named Dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University, based in Hamden, CT. The School of Communications serves more than 900 undergraduate and graduate students. The school maintains state-of-the art broadcasting facilities and operates a program in Los Angeles for students to study and work in the country’s entertainment capital. Contreras recently created the School’s first external Advisory Board with top leaders across all spheres of media which will allow the School’s faculty to stay abreast of very current industry trends as well as open significant employment doors for its students.

Contreras’ love of mission-oriented local journalism began with his work with U.S. Senator Paul Simon (D-IL), himself a former newspaper publisher. He served as a Legislative Assistant for Simon on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Contreras has devoted many years to numerous media and journalism organizations serving the media industry including the Inland Press Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher Association, The Scripps Howard Foundation, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Cincinnati Public Radio, the American Press Institute (API) and the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). He served as Chairman of both API and NAA in the past decade which required board leadership on broad industry issues and testimony before federal governmental bodies.

He currently serves on the boards of directors of Woodward Communications, Inc. in Dubuque, Iowa, an employee stock ownership company (ESOP) where he is Chairman of the Board Development, Compensation and Governance Committee and GFR Media, the largest media company serving San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Futuro Media, a leading producer of content focused on immigrant and Latino issues founded by journalist Maria Hinojosa. He has served as board chairman and/or board director for numerous non-profits in the health care, human services and education spheres.

He received an A.B. degree in History from The University of Chicago in 1984, a MBA from The Harvard Business School in 1988 and completed the Media Management Center program for Advanced Media Executives at Northwestern University in the late 1990s. Mark is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute based in Washington, DC and Aspen, Colorado.

Mark was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and later moved and grew up outside of Chicago, Illinois. He has been married for 32 years to Marybeth Sughrue a central Pennsylvania native and they have one son, Michael, who lives and works in New York City.