Steve Ainsley, a former publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press who later served as publisher of the Boston Globe, has been named president and publisher of the award-winning Miller-McCune magazine in Santa Barbara.

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Steve Ainsley (Boston Globe photo / republished with permission)

Ainsley, 57, was publisher of the News-Press from 1993 to 1999 and has nearly 30 years of senior management experience with The New York Times Co. Prior to his time in Santa Barbara, he was the publisher of several newspapers owned by The New York Times Regional Media Group.

After Santa Barbara, he served The Times as president and chief operating officer of the regional media group before taking the helm, in late 2006, of the financially struggling Boston Globe. The Times had purchased the Globe for $1 billion in 1993 and had warned it would have to close down New England’s leading newspaper unless it could find savings of $20 million, which it achieved in 2009 primarily through union concessions. Ainsley retired later that year.

“Since leaving Santa Barbara in early 2000, my wife and I have always believed we would someday return,” Ainsley told Noozhawk. “The opportunity to come back as publisher of Miller-McCune creates an ideal opportunity for us. We are coming back to a community we love and I am continuing my media career working for a local company and owner I have long respected.”

Ainsley’s new position marks an important turn to the business side for Miller-McCune, which has earned a number of journalism awards since its launch in 2008.

“During the past three years, Miller-McCune has focused on developing its editorial mission and pursuing editorial excellence,” Sara Miller McCune, founder and executive chairwoman of Miller-McCune, said in a statement.

“To sustain that mission and take Miller-McCune to new heights, now is the time to invest in the business side of the equation. We are excited to tap into Steve’s deep knowledge of the publishing industry and broad understanding of various models for success. Perhaps as important, he shares our belief in the ability of media to positively transform society.”

Published daily online, with a bimonthly print version, the magazine is part of the nonprofit Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, 804 Anacapa St. The magazine prides itself on “uncovering solutions” rather than reporting on problems and has earned the 2009 Utne Independent Press Award for science/technology coverage and the 2008-2009 Society of Environmental Journalists Award for Outstanding Explanatory Journalism. In 2009 it was named one of Library Journal’s “10 Best Magazines” and listed as one of MIN’s “Hottest Launches of 2008.”

Active in Santa Barbara’s nonprofit community, Ainsley was recognized as Santa Barbara Humanitarian of the Year and the Anti-Defamation League Santa Barbara/Tricounties Person of the Year, and he is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. He has been a guest lecturer at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, and was commencement speaker at the University of North Alabama in 2008.

Ainsley holds degrees from New York University and Emory University’s Advanced Management Program. He and his wife, Ann, will reside in Santa Barbara.

Click here for Miller-McCune magazine. Become a fan of Miller-McCune on Facebook. Follow the magazine on Twitter.: @MillerMcCune

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Bill Macfadyen

William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher

Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.