Lee's Gottlieb Brings A Life In Newspapers To NAA p.16

By: MARK FITZGERALD Teenage memories of mailroom work and baling waste temper
mature CEO who wants to shout to the world about newspapers

Some young people are drawn to newspapers by romantic dreams of becoming dashing foreign correspondents. Others imagine themselves as powerful Citizen Kanes shaping destiny to the roar of the printing press.
Lee Enterprises president and CEO Richard D. Gottlieb was introduced to newspapering in a far more prosaic way ? but was nevertheless hooked as deeply as anyone can be.
"I've never lost the feeling I had when I first started in newspapers, as a 14-year-old baling old newsprint, paid in cash because I'm not sure I was a legal worker," Gottlieb says.
Before he was out of high school, the Davenport, Iowa, native was spending his Saturday nights working in the mailroom of the Quad Cities Times, and as soon as he had his bachelor of
science degree from the University of Arizona he was working in the paper's advertising department.
Gottlieb has been with Lee Enterprises ever since: Beginning in 1965 as a management trainee at Madison Newspapers in Wisconsin, he was named production coordinator in 1968, and general manager in 1973. He was named publisher of the Journal Times in Racine, Wis., in 1980, and promoted to vice president-newspapers for all of Lee Enterprises five years later.
In 1986, he was elected president and chief operating officer of the chain. He became
president and CEO in May of 1991 and from
Lee Enterprises' Davenport, Iowa, headquarters oversees a media company that owns 21
daily newspapers, 63 weekly and specialty
publications, nine full-service network-affiliated television stations, and seven satellite television stations.
At a time when counselors urge people to "reinvent" themselves with four, five or more career changes and when newspapers recruit their CEOs from cereal companies, Gottlieb says he would recommend his career path to anyone.
"There are very few businesses where you make a new product from scratch every single day," he says. "I think it is one of the most exciting businesses you can find."
His enthusiasm for the business fuels a commitment to diversity: "We have to be very diligent about getting people into the industry by telling them it is an exciting industry."
It is also a business, Gottlieb says, that keeps you sharp: "It would be very difficult to be in this industry and not stay tuned into the world."
For this next year as chairman of the Newspaper Association of America, however, Gottlieb sees his job as tuning the world into newspapers.
"I don't think we shout about our industry enough," he says.
"We need to shout about how good our industry is, how effective and efficient we are in reaching the market."
Gottlieb says when he becomes chairman at the end of the NAA's annual meeting in Dallas, April 19-22, he will continue the twin themes stressed by his two predecessors, Cowles Media president and CEO David Cox and Gannett Co. chairman, president and CEO John Curley.
"Marketing newspapers and effecting public policy are the two areas we concentrate on, and I'm incredibly comfortable and feel as though John and David have left me terrific examples of how to be an NAA chairman," Gottlieb says.
Gottlieb is a strong supporter of the NAA's current advertising campaign promoting newspaper readership, and of Partners 2000, the association's initiative to increase the efficiency of newspaper ad departments.
"We have to ask ourselves constantly, 'How do we take care of our advertisers?' " Gottlieb says.
These days, he adds, the answers are much better: "We took our customers for granted for too long, but I don't think we do that anymore."
At Lee Enterprises, for instance, marketing is an important priority, he says.
"We very much . . . use that approach, with a lot of research and a lot of marketing," he says. "And by marketing I mean more than just sales and promotion. It's the full range of marketing and promotion techniques and listening to the customer."
For someone as steeped in newspapers as Gottlieb, however, the paper can never be just business.
"One other thing I will be doing, that we have to keep in mind, goes back to the old ANPA days: We can never forget that what we are doing is working to advance the cause of the free press," he says, recalling a slogan the association used when it was known as the American Newspaper Publishers Association.
?(Incoming NAA chairman, Richard D. Gottlieb) [Caption & Photo]

?(E&P Web Site:http://www.mediainfo.com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 18, 1998) [Caption]


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