Executive shuffle at the Daily Star
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Executive shuffle at the Daily Star

Following the November departure of Tucson Newspapers head Mike Jameson, the Old Pueblo's remaining daily newspaper shuffled its executives around, according to a Wednesday announcement.

John Humenik, the Arizona Daily Star's publisher and editor since 2005, was bumped upstairs (or across the stairwell, in this case) to the post of president and publisher of the paper.

Bobbie Jo Buel, the paper's executive editor, will now be editor of the Lee Enterprises-owned newspaper.

Humenik will take "responsibility also for its sales, marketing, production, circulation, human resources and finance operations," a late afternoon report in the Star said.

(The report, incidently, is another story that the Star is not allowing online comments on.)

Jameson left TNI, the former joint operating agency that sold ads and ran the presses for the Star and late Tucson Citizen, for undisclosed reasons, the company said on Nov. 15.

Lee and Gannett Inc., the publishing chain that put out the Citizen for decades until its press ground to a halt in May 2009, maintain an equal share of the profits from the Tucson Newspapers operation. These days, more than ever, that's primarily Lee's morning daily.

The TNI operation was generally operated by Gannett guidelines, with advertising, human resources, circulation and other operations following the model of that chain.

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Does moving control of sales and circulation, etc., to a Lee exec, rather than one with responsibilities to both companies, portend a move by the Iowa-based chain to take more control of the operation?

The companies said last month that they were looking for a replacement for Jameson.

The joint operating agreement between the two companies was set to last through June 1, 2015. That agreement ended with the Citizen's shutdown, and the companies have been playing their current partnership arrangement close to the vest.

Both Lee and Gannett have been beset by a precipitous drop in advertising revenue, with the economy and Internet challengers eating away at what used to be profit margins in the 30 percent range.

Both companies are also saddled with enormous debt loads. Gannett, besides stopping the press at the Citizen, has laid off thousands of journalists around the country in an attempt to stay alive.

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