ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ Multimedia Inc. executive William deB. ``Bern'' Mebane has been named senior group president of Gannett Co. Inc.'s new Piedmont Newspaper Group, the company announced.

Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper publisher, bought Multimedia in a $1.7 billion deal that closed on Dec. 4.

The Piedmont group includes former Multimedia newspapers in Greenville, S.C.; Asheville, N.C.; Montgomery, Ala.; Staunton, Va.; Mountain Home, Ark.; Gallipolis and Pomeroy, Ohio; and Point Pleasant, W.Va..

It also includes Gannett newspapers in Huntington, W.Va., and in Marietta and Chillicothe, Ohio.

Mebane, 46, joined Multimedia in 1971 and became president of the subsidiary Multimedia Newspaper Co. in 1989. He remains based in Greenville, S.C.