Ex-‘Newsday’ Publisher Gets 15 Months For Child Porn Possession

By: E&P Staff

Former Newsday Publisher Robert M. Johnson was sentenced to 15 months in prison and a $50,000 fine for possession of child pornography.

Johnson, 61, pleaded guilty last August to federal charges of possessing two child pornography images he downloaded on a company computer of the financial printing firm Browne & Company. Johnson was Browne’s CEO until he resigned in 2004 when he learned he was under investigation.

Johnson served as publisher of Newsday from 1986 to 1994.
Mr. Johnson, who had been publisher of Newsday, in Melville, N.Y., from 1986 to 1994, resigned from Browne and gave up his seat on New York’s state education board in July 2004 when learning of the investigation.

A former media lawyer with the firm Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather and Geraldson, in 1978 Johnson began his newspaper career as vice president and general manager of the Dispatch Printing Company in Columbus, Ohio. He joined Newsday as president and COO in 1982, and became publisher and CEO in 1986.

At his sentencing Friday, Johnson blamed his actions on depression caused by the pressure of his job at Browne. “I decided to escape,” Johnson said, according to an unbylined report by Reuters. “I decided to go to fantasy because reality was too much to bear.”

Reuters reported the 15-month sentence was less than prosecutors were seeking.

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