Saturday, August 6, 2016

Allen Harold "Al" Neuharth

Allen Harold "Al" Neuharth (March 22, 1924 – April 19, 2013), American business executive was the pioneering and pugnacious founder of USA Today. He was also the founder of The Freedom Forum and its Newsium.

When Neuharth was two, his father died after a farm accident. He helped support the family with a procession of odd jobs; newspaper carrier, composing-room gofer, and part-time helper in a butcher shop and a drugstore.
Following graduation in 1950 from the University of South Dakota, Neuharth cofounded SoDak Sports, a newspaper that faced bankruptcy after two years.

He joined the Miami Herald as a reporter, worked his way up through the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain.

In 1963 he joined Gannet publishing as general manager and rose to president in 1970 and chief executive in 1973. In the latter post he adopted a business model that fostered the purchase of newspaper in small-to-medium towns and thus created a chain of monopolics.
In 1982, Neuharth founded USA Today, which as of March 2013 was the third most widely read newspaper in the country. Despite its despised beginning, the paper has grown into a respected force in American culture.

Many of USA Today’s innovations were directives from Neuharth, dubbed the ‘Chief Architect’ by the project planners.
Allen Harold "Al" Neuharth