Wisconsin publisher, Johnson, named NNA president

Oct 31, 2018

By Stanley Schwartz
Managing Editor | Publishers’ Auxiliary

NORFOLK, VA—Andrew Johnson, publisher of the Dodge County Pionier in Mayville, WI, was elected president of the National Newspaper Association during the association’s 132nd annual convention and trade show Sept. 29, 2018. He had been vice president.

Johnson succeeds Susan Rowell, publisher/regional manager, The Lancaster News/Carolina Gateway, Lancaster, SC, who became immediate past president.

Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (WY) Budget and Glenrock Independent, was elected vice president. He had been treasurer.

Mike Fishman, publisher of the Citizen Tribune in Morristown, TN, was named treasurer. He had been Region 2 director.

After receiving the official presidential gavel from Rowell, Johnson said: “Never has NNA been more important than now. NNA is a cooperatively owned trade association by community newspaper people like me and you. I am NNA. You are NNA. It is a member-operated and driven organization. NNA is the only national organization dedicated specifically to advocating the interests of community newspapers. There is no one else.”

This became most noted this year when NNA and other groups came together to fight the newsprint tariff, which was threatening the livelihood of numerous newspapers.

He noted that times have changed and the future of the association lies in operating NNA with a set of ideas, not a detailed answer plan.

“The ideas that will give NNA the best chance or highest probability to survive and serve its members include: focus, dimple and clear plans, and key partnerships,” he said.

“Like the running of your newspaper,” he added, “NNA is on a journey. It is challenging. We are in a unique industry. I don’t exactly know where our journey will take us. But I do know that I am teaming up with the right people in the right organization, NNA.”

During the convention, the board of directors voted to reduce the number or regional directors from 10 to nine.

The new regions and directors are: Region 1 Director Jeanne Straus, owner, Straus Media, New York, NY, (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont); Region 2 Director Dennis Richardson, owner of Magic Valley Publishing in Camden, TN, (District of Columbia, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia); Region 3 Director Bo Bolten, publisher, The Monroe Journal, Monroeville, AL, (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Puerto Rico); Region 4 Director John Galer, publisher, the Hillsboro (IL) Journal-News, (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania); Region 5 Director Jeremy Waltner, co-publisher, the Freeman (SD) Courier, (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin); Region 6 Director Randy Keck, publisher, the Community News, Aledo, TX, (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas; Region 7 Director J. Louie Mullen, publisher, Black Bird LLC, Port Townsend, WA, (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington); Region 8 Director Rob Hicks, associate publisher, News Letter Journal, Newcastle, WY, (Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming); Region 9 Director Brett Wesner, co-owner of Wesner Publications Co., (Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada).

Continuing on the board is Bradley Thompson, publisher of the Detroit Legal News, Detroit, MI, representing American Court and Commercial Newspapers. Appointed to the board was Beth Bennett, executive director, Wisconsin Newspaper Association, representing the Newspaper Association Managers. She succeeds David Bordewyk, executive director for the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

Named to the board as at-large directors were David Fisher, president of Fisher Publishing in Danville, AR; and Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News in Benson, MN.

NNA Postal Chair Max Heath remains as an honorary member of the board.