Marty Petty, the former publisher of the St. Petersburg Times and the Hartford Courant, was named this morning chief executive officer of the Creative Loafing chain of alt-weeklies.

Petty’s hiring comes at a time of transition for the Creative Loafing papers. In late August, a bankruptcy proceeding forced an ownership change in the chain, taking it out of the hands of former owner Ben Eason and placing it with Atalaya Capital Management, a hedge fund that was Creative Loafing’s primary creditor. To manage the newspapers, Atalaya hired a management team that Petty will oversee. The chain has papers in Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa, and Sarasota.

According to a company press release, Petty said, “I’m invigorated by the possibilities to deepen relationships with our readers and advertisers and expand our influence in our communities. The coverage areas which have differentiated and distinguished the alternative press historically may be more important than ever.”

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