NEW YORK – The Associated Press Board of Directors announced today that Mary Junck, chairman and CEO of Lee Enterprises, Inc., will become its new chairman.
Junck succeeds William Dean Singleton, chairman of MediaNews Group Inc., who has completed a five-year term as chairman of the AP board, which oversees the not-for-profit cooperative of U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. She will take over after the Associated Press annual meeting, in April.
As chairman of the AP board’s revenue committee, Junck has taken a leading role in promoting and helping develop industrywide innovations between AP and its members. In a pioneering collaboration between newspaper publishers and retailers in 2011, AP and 40 leading newspapers created a service called iCircular to provide new mobile advertising products that enhance newspapers’ advertising circulars with location-specific offers and interactive, engaging tools.
“The industry has long been the beneficiary of Mary’s deep understanding of the challenges facing all media companies in the digital age,” said Singleton. “She is a strong advocate for AP, for the value of original newsgathering and for everything AP stands for. She’ll be an outstanding chairman.”
“Dean and Tom Curley leave the cooperative with a solid foundation and an exciting future,” said Junck, who has served on the AP board since 2004 and is overseeing the committee charged with finding a replacement for AP CEO and President Tom Curley, who will be retiring when a successor is found. “It will be my honor to help AP continue on its path forward.”
“Mary brings legendary energy and passion for industry collaboration to this assignment,” said Curley. “She has worked closely with me on many transformation projects since being on the AP board and has contributed immeasurably with innovative thinking. She is the ideal person to extend the truly exemplary achievements accomplished under Dean’s leadership.”
Singleton, who was first elected to the AP board in 1999, became chairman in 2007. He founded MediaNews Group, one of the largest privately owned newspaper companies in the United States, in 1983. Singleton began his newspaper career at the age of 15 as a part-time reporter in his hometown of Graham, Texas, and bought his first newspaper at age 21. He served on the board of the Newspaper Association of America from 1993 until 2004 and served as chairman in 2002 and 2003. He is also publisher of The Denver Post and The Salt Lake Tribune.
Junck joined the AP board in 2004 and was re-elected to a three-year term by the AP membership in 2007 and again in 2010. She was named vice chairman of the board in 2008.
In 1999, Junck joined Lee Enterprises as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 2000, she became president of Lee, a leading provider of local news, information and advertising in primarily midsize markets, with 52 daily newspapers, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 23 states. She was named chief executive officer in 2001 and chairman in 2002.
Before Lee, Junck held senior executive positions at the former Times Mirror Co. As executive vice president of Times Mirror and president of Times Mirror Eastern Newspapers, she was responsible for Newsday, The Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, Southern Connecticut Newspapers and a magazine division. From 1993 to 1997, she was publisher and chief executive officer of The Baltimore Sun. She began her career with Knight Ridder at the Charlotte Observer in 1972 and advanced to assistant advertising director at The Miami Herald, assistant to the Knight Ridder senior vice president of operations, and to publisher and president of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.