David Hunke will succeed Craig Moon as president and publisher of Gannett (NYSE: GCI) flagship USA Today, the company announced at its annual shareholders meeting. Hunke takes on the job at a particularly difficult time for USAT, which is the largest newspaper in the U.S. by circulation. In addition to weathering wage freezes and unpaid furloughs and the loss of its hotel-subscription business, Gannett’s Q1 showed that USAT’s ad revenues fell 33 percent. Also, the Audit Bureau of Circulations said that USAT’s circ was down 7.4 percent.
As his first act, Hunke promoted John Hillkirk as USAT’s editor, replacing Kenneth Paulson, who resigned in February. Hillkirk was executive editor of the newspaper. Moon, who had been a Gannett exec for over 20 years, said he would retire from the post last month. Moon’s last day was April 17. He said he planned to start scouting investment opportunities in the media industry. Gannett will move Hunke over to USAT from his current role as CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership and publisher of the Detroit Free Press.