USA Today Publisher David Hunke Exits

Paper Recently Imposed Weeklong Furlough

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USA Today, which told staff last week that they would need to take an unpaid week off to save the paper money, is now in the market for a publisher.

David Hunke, president and publisher of USA Today since April 2009, was moved today to the role of chairman. Gannett said he would work on strategic projects and a leadership transition until September, when he will leave the company entirely.

Susie Ellwood, exec VP-general manager at USA Today, is assuming day-to-day responsibility for the paper as Gannett begins a search for a publisher to succeed Mr. Hunke.

The company will coordinate the publisher search with its effort to identify a new editor-in-chief for USA Today, following John Hillkirk's shift to senior editor for investigative journalism and national enterprise reporting.

Gannett doesn't break out results for USA Today in its financial results, but the company's overall revenue has declined for five years. CEO Craig Dubow resigned last fall, ending a six-year run in which the share price and employee headcount both dropped, as New York Times media columnist David Carr pointed out in criticizing its benefits to executives.

Mr. Hunke joined Gannett in 1992. His jobs there have included CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership, where he led the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News' reduction in home delivery days to Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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