New publisher named for Herald-Mail

June 13, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS |
  • Andy Bruns
Submitted photo

Upon Herald-Mail Publisher John League’s retirement at the end of July, Andy Bruns, publisher of the Daily American in Somerset, Pa., will become group publisher for the two news companies, parent company Schurz Communications Inc. announced Monday.

Bruns will be based at The Herald-Mail, said Charles V. Pittman, senior vice president of Schurz Communications, which owns The Herald-Mail and the Daily American.

“Andy has been very successful as publisher of the Daily American,” Pittman said, calling Bruns innovative, creative and results-driven, with a good grasp of how to drive revenue and control costs.

“I think that’s all the qualities and characteristics we need in the tough, transforming and changing industry that we’re in right now,” Pittman said.

Bruns, 46, has been publisher for about five years at the 13,000-circulation Daily American.

He has a degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University and worked at newspapers in Illinois, Wisconsin and California, beginning in advertising and sales before advancing into management.

At the Daily American, which previously published six days a week, Bruns oversaw the introduction of a Sunday newspaper in 2007, at a time when other newspapers were considering cutting days.

“Andy has done an outstanding job in Somerset,” League said. “He’ll be a great fit for both The Herald-Mail and our community.”

The decision to have one publisher oversee both companies was part of a strategic initiative to combine resources wherever possible, Pittman said.

“We need to be as lean as we possibly can in our attempts to meet bottom-line goals and objectives,” he said.

Bruns said he thought the efficient approach would benefit both operations.

“Paying one publisher salary as opposed to two, you can keep more feet on the street — more people writing stories, more people selling ads — and that’s what we need,” he said.

Bruns said he plans to look for other potential synergies between the two companies, such as shared training sessions, and consolidated business and circulation systems.

He said he is looking forward to getting to know The Herald-Mail’s readers and finding out what they want.

“It’s their paper,” he said.

Bruns plans to move to Hagerstown with his wife, Jackie, and two children, Parker, 7, and Kiersten, 4.

He said he expects to spend most of his time in Hagerstown, the larger of the two operations, and will rely on the telephone and video conferences to stay in touch with the Daily American staff. Somerset is about a two-hour drive northwest of Hagerstown.

The Herald-Mail has a daily circulation of about 29,000 and a Sunday circulation of about 34,000.

League has been The Herald-Mail’s publisher since 1995 and has been with the company since starting as a reporter in the Charles Town, W.Va., bureau in 1979. He announced his retirement plans in early May.

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