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KBSI Perspective
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing last week of Al Neuharth the founder of the national daily newspaper, USA Today. This visionary reinvented the American newspaper industry. Back in 1982, many in media thought the newspaper would never make it using splashy color and wild graphics. Neuharth maintained that USA Today would be a hit because of shorter articles, expanded sports coverage, and a huge colorful weather map. He divided the paper into four subjects, News, Money, Sports and Life. There were many journalists who called it McPaper or junk food journalism. Talk about being wrong. It is now the second largest daily paper and even reaches into other countries. Go into many hotel chains and you will see Americans reading USA Today in the coffee shops. Although Neuharth retired many years ago he continued to write a weekly column. He wrote a final column that he wanted published after his death and it appeared Monday, April 22. Al said, “As a journalist, I had a wonderful window on the world. Sharing with you what I liked or didn’t like, has been an awesome responsibility.” Al Neuharth even knew how to sell the paper through special USA Today vending machines. They all looked alike, much like television sets. The parent company Gannett owns a large number of television stations. I’ve been a subscriber for decades. Al Neuharth may be gone but as the CEO of the newspaper said last week his spirit and passion to the newspaper industry will never be extinguished.USA Today Legacy


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