Lee Names Group Publishers

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(AP) Lee Enterprises Inc. named new group publishers Thursday as the company prepares to add 16 newspapers from Howard Publications.

“We have a strong group of senior executives and we’re gaining talented publishers from Howard, so we’re able to absorb the new papers by adding and shifting responsibilities,” said Mary Junck, chairman and chief executive officer.

The $694 million acquisition, announced Tuesday, is expected to close within 90 days.

Linda Lindus, publisher of the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, Ill., will oversee two incoming Illinois newspapers, the Journal Gazette in Mattoon and the Times-Courier in Charleston. Another of Lee’s existing newspapers, the Herald & Review in Decatur, Ill., also will be part of the group.

Michael Gulledge, publisher of the Billings Gazette in Montana, also will oversee the Montana Standard in Butte and the Independent Record in Helena, as well as the Montana Magazine, also based in Helena.

Lindus will report to James W. Hopson, vice president for publishing in Wisconsin and Minnesota and publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Wis. Hopson also will oversee two of the Howard newspapers, The Times of Northwest Indiana based in Munster, and The Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill.

Michael E. Phelps, vice president for sales and marketing, will oversee four incoming newspapers: the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier in Iowa; The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, S.C.; The Sentinel in Carlisle, Pa.; and The Ledger-Independent in Maysville, Ky. He also will have group responsibility for Lee’s three existing newspapers in Iowa.

John VanStrydonck, vice president for publishing in the Pacific Northwest, will have group responsibility for one of the incoming papers, The Daily News in Longview, Wash.

Gulledge will report to Greg R. Veon, vice president for publishing, who will oversee five of the incoming papers: The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y.; the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming; The Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho; The Leader in Corning, N.Y., and The Citizen in Auburn, N.Y.

Veon also will oversee Lee’s joint interest in the Sioux City Journal in Iowa. Veon’s other responsibilities include Lee’s newspapers and other operations in Montana, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

Dick High, publisher of the remaining incoming paper, the North County Times in Oceanside and Escondido, Calif., will report directly to Junck.

With the acquisition, Lee will own 38 daily newspapers and have a joint interest in six others. Its total circulation in 18 states will be 1.1 million daily and 1.2 million Sunday. Lee also owns more than 100 weekly newspapers, shoppers, and specialty publications.

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