The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the hiring of Michael Maness (pictured) as vice president of its journalism and media innovation program and the promotion of journalism program VP Eric Newton to the new post of senior advisor to the president.

Maness had been VP of innovation and design at Gannett, and he will succeed Newton. He has been a member of the Knight Foundation’s journalism advisory committee for the past four years.

Newton has been VP of the journalism program since 2006. In his new role, he will help pursue strategic partnerships and new ideas.

Knight Foundation president and CEO Alberto Ibargüen said:

Along with many others, we believe the future of news is digital, but no one knows exactly how. Knight Foundation’s greatest contribution to this stage of development is to be open to many ideas, fund many experiments in delivering news and information to communities, and be intentional about learning what works. Michael Maness has led innovation at one of the largest media company in the country. He has a sense of what’s next and what innovations can survive in the marketplace. He has made a career of both being open to innovation and tough-minded about learning — the perfect combination for our program.

As program director and VP, Eric has invested more than a decade of his life to make Knight Foundation the leader in journalism innovation funding. He has been a force in journalism, a craft he loves and has made better. His advice and counsel will continue to impact Knight Foundation’s work in these digital times.

Maness added:

Working on innovation and design at Gannett was a great experience, and I’ll be forever grateful for it. Helping lead innovation for the entire journalism and media innovation field is simply an irresistible opportunity.

And Newton said:

Good foundations do more than make grants, and I’m excited about helping Knight and journalism in new ways, through advising, strategic planning, writing, speaking, facilitating, and partnering. I love to put great people together and help find new ideas that will make a difference.