Al Neuharth, former Gannett chairman and founder of USA Today, died today from complications of a fall at his home in Cocoa Beach, FL. He was 89. Neuharth’s death was reported by USA Today and the Newseum, which he also founded. Neuharth became president of Gannett in 1970 and CEO three years later. During his more than 15 years at the helm, Neuharth built Gannett into one of the largest American media companies with annual revenues increasing from $200 million to more than $3 billion. He founded USA Today in 1982, while president of Gannett newspaper group. The colorful, easy-to-read newspaper was at first dismissed, some deriding it as “McPaper”, but it went on to become the nation’s second-largest daily newspaper. Neuharth retired from Gannett in 1989.
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