SOURCE: Lee Enterprises

December 10, 2013 16:10 ET

Lee Enterprises Names Group Publisher for Madison and Tucson

MADISON, WI--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2013) - Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE) has announced the promotion of John M. Humenik, president and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, to publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison and group publisher for both divisions.

Mary Junck, Lee chairman and chief executive officer, said Humenik also will become a member of Lee's executive team, helping guide 50 daily newspaper print and digital operations in 22 states.

As publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, Humenik also will become a principal officer of Madison Newspapers, Inc., which is owned jointly by Lee and The Capital Times Co. The web address is madison.com. MNI operates as Capital Newspapers and also publishes the Baraboo News Republic, the Daily Citizen in Beaver Dam and the Portage Daily Register. In Tucson, the Arizona Daily Star's business operations are owned jointly by Lee and Gannett Co, Inc. (NYSE: GCI). The web address is azstarnet.com.

Kevin Mowbray, Lee vice president and chief operating officer, made the announcement today in Madison. Among his comments:

"With John's leadership, the Arizona Daily Star has delivered outstanding results in every aspect of our business -- from magnificent journalism and service to the community to powerful results for advertisers -- leading to rapid audience growth and impressive financial performance. In expanding John's responsibilities to another of our largest markets, we look forward to an even greater sharing of successes between two of our strongest management teams."

Mowbray noted that the Arizona Daily Star recently received Lee's highest company honor, 2013 Enterprise of the Year. This was the second year in a row that the Daily Star was a finalist for Enterprise of the Year. The Daily Star also received 2013 President's Awards for both News and Innovation, as well as multiple industry honors.

Mowbray said Bobbie Jo Buel, editor of the Daily Star, will become interim publisher in Tucson during the search for a successor.

"I'm excited about the awesome opportunity ahead. Madison is an incredible community, and getting to know the staff as quickly as possible will be an enjoyable experience," Humenik said. "By staying connected and involved with our Tucson operation, together we will be able to explore important synergies. I believe that relationship will prove to be a tremendous advantage for our group, especially as we build upon our print and digital successes."

Humenik, 50, became president and publisher in Tucson in 2010 after five years as publisher and editor. Before transferring to Tucson in 2005, he had been editor for seven years at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. While at the Times, he was honored as "Editor of the Year" in 2004 by the former Suburban Newspapers of America, now Local Media Association. The Times was named the 2002 and 2003 "Newspaper of the Year" by SNA and was recognized in 2002 as one of "10 Newspapers That Do It Right" by Editor & Publisher magazine. Under his leadership, the Daily Star has received three "Newspaper of the Year" awards and was honored among "10 Newspapers That Do It Right" in 2013.

Humenik previously served five years as presentation/graphics editor at The Cincinnati Enquirer and eight years at The Times of Northwest Indiana, including four as assistant managing editor. He began his career as a 12-year-old newspaper carrier in Tinley Park, Ill. He began covering sports in Chicago suburbs at age 15, working his way onto sports staffs at the Star Herald and the Daily Southtown. He received a journalism scholarship to Eastern Illinois University and was sports editor of the Daily Eastern News. He and his wife, Lisa, have two adult children.

Among community activities, Humenik is a co-founder and chairman of the Tucson Festival of Books, the fourth largest literary festival in the United States, attracting more than 120,000 participants and 450 authors. He serves on the boards of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Downtown Tucson Partnership, the Pima Library Foundation and the Arizona Newspapers Association. He also is a member of the American Society of News Editors, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Graduate Club of Tucson, and has served as a community squadron commander at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. He is immediate past chairman of the board of Local Media Association, formerly Suburban Newspapers of America, and is chairman of the Local Media Association Foundation. He is a trustee of Quill & Scroll and president of Literacy Leadership, and has been a frequent speaker at the American Press Institute.

As publisher in Madison, Humenik succeeds William K. Johnston, who previously announced plans to retire after 40 years in Lee. Johnston began his career in Madison and served as an advertising executive, general manager or publisher at the Globe-Gazette in Mason City, Iowa; the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon, the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa; the Herald & Review in Decatur, Illinois, and the Lincoln Journal Star as regional publisher in eastern Nebraska. Johnston has led the Madison division since 2006. He and his wife, Shannon, have two adult daughters.

"Bill has built a strong record of leadership in Madison and in every location he has served. He has helped make Lee better in countless ways, and he departs with our enduring gratitude," Mowbray said. "Bill also has been a loyal friend to so many of us across Lee. We will especially miss his straightforward thinking, astute advice and wonderful fellowship."

Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, in its markets, with 46 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 22 states. Lee's newspapers have circulation of 1.1 million daily and 1.5 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in print alone. Lee's websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 23.2 million unique visitors in September 2013. Lee's markets include St. Louis, MO; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and Tucson, AZ. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit lee.net.

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