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Former editor and publisher Mary Schurz dies

August 09, 2010|By HERB BROCK, The Advocate-Messenger

DANVILLE, Ky. -- Mary Schurz, who served as editor and publisher of The Advocate-Messenger in Danville and was a longtime board member of Schurz Communications Inc., died Monday morning at her home following a long illness. She was 71.

Schurz served as editor and publisher of The Advocate-Messenger from 1978 to 2006, when she retired and was named chairwoman and editor emeritus.

She also was director emeritus of Schurz Communications Inc. (SCI), the Mishawaka, Ind., company that owns The Herald-Mail Co., Antietam Cable Television Inc., The Advocate-Messenger and other media outlets around the nation.

A native of South Bend, Ind., and a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Schurz began her journalism career as an editorial trainee with the San Diego (Calif.) Union and later worked in every department of daily newspapers in Indio, Calif.; Bedford, Ind.; and Bloomington, Ind.

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She also worked as a general assignment reporter for several years in the New York City office of The Associated Press and was on the staff of The Saturday Review magazine.

One of her last assignments with The Associated Press was as assistant science editor, and she served a stint as acting science editor.

Schurz was widely known in the newspaper industry.

She served on the board of directors of the Newspaper Association of America, The Associated Press and the Southern Newspaper Association. She was a director and treasurer of the SNPA Foundation and was past president of the Kentucky Press Association.

Schurz also was one of 65 editors from around the country to serve as judges for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize, American journalism's highest honor.

In addition to her other industry leadership roles, she had served as vice president, secretary and director of SCI, which was founded by her father, the late Franklin D. Schurz Sr. Her brother Franklin D. Schurz Jr. is chairman of the company's board of directors, and another brother, Scott Schurz, is vice chairman of the board.

Her late brother, James M. Schurz, was editor and publisher of The Herald-Mail for several years before becoming a senior vice president of SCI. His son, Todd Schurz, is president and CEO of SCI.

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