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Schurz Communications announces changes at executive level

June 02, 2007

Franklin D. Schurz Jr. will retire as chief executive officer of Schurz Communications Inc. on June 30, according to an SCI press release. He will remain the company's board chairman.

SCI owns The Herald-Mail Co. and Antietam Cable Television in Hagerstown.

The SCI board of directors has named Todd F. Schurz to serve as president and CEO effective July 1. Todd Schurz is the son of James M. Schurz of Williamsport, a former Herald-Mail editor and publisher.

Based in South Bend, Ind., Schurz Communications Inc. is a diversified, privately owned media company. SCI publishes 13 daily newspapers in medium and small markets with a combined circulation of nearly 235,000. It also publishes eight weekly newspapers, and phone directory and shopping guide publications, according to the release.

SCI has five television subsidiaries, 13 radio stations, two cable companies and a printing company. Geographically, SCI has a presence in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Virginia.

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"I wish to thank the board of directors, the officers, senior management and staff of Schurz Communications for all their incredible work over the years. Their efforts have helped to grow SCI to its current size," Frank Schurz said. "My warmest thanks, also, to the editors and publishers and general managers and their organizations for their hard work and their dedication to their communities."

Prior to taking over as president of SCI, Frank Schurz Jr. had been editor and publisher of The South Bend Tribune, and The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail in Hagerstown.

During his 26 years in the newspaper industry, he has served as president of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association, Hoosier State Press Association, Chesapeake Associated Press Association and the Institute of Newspaper Controllers and Finance Officers. He also has served on the boards of directors of the Southern Production Plan, Riverside Press Enterprise and Inland Press Association, and chaired the Associated Press Audit Committee for five years. He has received the Presidential Award of Merit from the National Newspaper Association.

He is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Club. He chaired committees of the American Newspaper Publishers Association. He is an honorary trustee of the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, a member of the board of C-SPAN since 1997 and the MSTV board since 2001.

He also has served on a number of state community boards and commissions - Maryland Physical Fitness Commission, Indiana Arts Council and the Indiana Endowment for Education Excellence.

He is a graduate of Harvard College and received a master's degree from The Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He is a veteran of the Korean War.

Schurz began his career with the family firm in 1956, and celebrated his 50-year anniversary last year.

"Frank has led this company over the past quarter century with great skill and consideration and with the complete confidence of his fellow owners and colleagues," Todd Schurz said. "I am delighted he will remain board chairman. I am deeply honored by this new position and humbled to follow in the footsteps of four prior generations. I feel fortunate to be able to rely upon an exceptional senior management team and thousands of dedicated and talented employees."

Todd Schurz was born in San Francisco, and is a 1983 graduate of Brown University with a bachelor of arts degree in history and economics. He received his master's degree from The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania with masters degrees in marketing and management.

Prior to joining SCI in 1989, he worked for The Times Journal Company in Springfield, Va., and for The New York Daily News during graduate school.

At SCI, he worked at the South Bend Tribune, WSBT television and radio stations, and WDBJ television in Roanoke, Va., before being named president and publisher of Associated Desert Shoppers in Palm Desert, Calif., in 1991.

In 1995, he was named president, editor and publisher of the South Bend Tribune. He was named vice president of Technology and Business Development at SCI in 2000, and took on a joint assignment of president and general manager of WSBT Television in 2002.

He was named president and chief operating officer of SCI on Nov. 1, 2005.

He has served on the boards of the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation (a past president), and is a former member of the Newspaper Association of American New Media Federation and former committee vice chair for the Inland Press Association. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Hoosier State Press Association. He is a member of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute.

He currently serves as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County and as a member of the Memorial Health System board and the coordinating committee for Regional Approach to Progress organization. He serves or has served on numerous other community boards, including the United Way and Project Future.

Todd and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Anthony and Caroline.

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