News and Insights

Veteran News Executive Maria De Varenne Joins FINN Partners as Senior Partner

April 26, 2022

Nashville, Tennessee – FINN Partners, a leading global public relations agency, has named veteran news executive and former Tennessean editor Maria De Varenne as Senior Partner, responsible for overseeing earned media strategy and content across print and digital channels for the company’s diverse clients throughout the Southeast.

Throughout her 30+ year career, De Varenne, who was Executive Editor of the Tennessean from 2011 until 2021, has led numerous award-winning teams of journalists and expanded and evolved news operations for major news outlets throughout the country.  De Varenne’s extensive professional and managerial experience includes strategic multi-media product start-ups, market expansions and innovative staff development.

During her tenure at the Tennessean, De Varenne oversaw a multi-media newsroom with a staff of more than 100 in 7 offices in Middle Tennessee.   In this role, she was responsible for strategic planning for the news team and directing news and content for the Tennessean and its affiliated digital media and had oversight of two smaller daily and several weekly newspapers in Middle Tennessee.  During her tenure, Tennessean and won numerous regional, state and national news awards including being named one of the top 25 U.S. daily newspapers to gain audiences in both digital and print readership.

“It is a privilege to welcome Maria De Varenne to FINN Partners,” said Beth S. Courtney, Managing Partner, Southeast.  “Our team had numerous opportunities to work with Maria during her time at the Tennessean and valued her unwavering commitment to sharing news with readers that was always compelling and relevant. We strive to achieve the same as we convey information for and about our clients. We know Maria’s talents and perspective will be invaluable in helping us navigate a rapidly changing media marketplace on behalf of those we represent.”

Prior to joining the Tennessean, De Varenne held a number of leadership and editorial positions in newspapers across the country.  These include as Editor and VP of News at the Press-Enterprise (Southern California); Assistant Managing Editor at the San Bernardino County Sun (California); Business Editor at the North Hills News Record (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Business Editor of the Odessa American (Texas); and General Assignment Reporter at the Daytona Beach News Journal (Florida).

De Varenne has been lauded for her leadership including having been awarded Gannett Newsroom Manager of the Year and selected for Leadership Nashville.  She is an Adjunct faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University.  De Varenne is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, BA in Journalism and was selected as a Knight Digital Media Center Fellowship at the University of Southern California.

FINN Partners is currently the third largest public relations agency in the Southeastern United States with over 150 people representing over 200 clients in the 11-state region.