Scripps names Topeka publisher to take Naples Daily News reins

Mon, September 20, 2004 by Mark Kroeger

CINCINNATI – John J. Fish, publisher of The Topeka Capital-Journal, has been named president and publisher of the Naples (Fla.) Daily News, effective Oct. 4.Fish, 46, comes to the Daily News after more than four years as publisher in Topeka. He was assistant general manager of The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle for two years before taking the position at The Capital-Journal.The Naples Daily News, which has a circulation of 57,000 newspapers Monday through Saturday and 69,000 on Sundays, is owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company. Fish succeeds Robert Burdick, who left Naples to become publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo.“John Fish has a proven record for building circulation and readership while at the same time overseeing the creation and development of exciting new publishing products that build on the strength of the local newspaper,” said Alan M. Horton, senior vice president of newspapers for Scripps. “I’ve known John for several years as an active, thoughtful and creative member of the Newspaper Association of America’s ‘Horizon Watching’ Committee,” Horton said. “He has an instinct for the things newspapers must do to be successful in this media-rich information age. But, it’s important that his career is rooted in the strong journalistic values that he learned as a reporter, city editor and managing editor. As a publisher, he understands the important civic role that he and the newspaper play in the life of a community. Because he had a successful stint as acting advertising director in Augusta, he also understands advertisers’ needs. He already has ties to Southwest Florida because his father is retired in Punta Gorda. We believe he’s an excellent fit for Naples and the Naples Daily News.”Fish said, “My family and I are excited about joining the Naples community. I hope to help a very successful newspaper become even better.”“The Daily News has an important role to play as the Naples community grows. If the community develops in the right ways, everyone benefits, including the newspaper. My belief is that a good newspaper not only has outstanding news coverage, but also involves itself as a good neighbor and good partner with those working for a better community.”During Fish’s tenure as publisher in Topeka, The Capital-Journal led all 26 Morris Communications daily newspapers in annual circulation gains from 2001 to 2003. The Capital-Journal also won top state and national awards under Fish’s leadership, including the Kansas Press Association’s best of the state award in 2002.While serving as assistant general manager for The Augusta Chronicle, Fish led the company’s strategic planning team and coordinated a special project that brought together new content, promotional and advertising initiatives. He also directed a project to improve processes and the organization of various departments at the newspaper.The Chronicle also is owned and operated by Morris Communications. Fish joined the Chronicle in 1988 as news editor and was named managing editor in 1991. He served three years as city editor for The York (Pa.) Daily Record. He started his career as a sports reporter for The Robesonian in Lumberton, N.C., leaving the newspaper in 1985 as managing editor.Fish graduated in 1981 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a bachelor’s of science degree. He and his wife, Juan, have two daughters.About ScrippsThe E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in national lifestyle television networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television, television retailing, interactive media and licensing and syndication. All of the company’s media businesses provide content and advertising services via the Internet.Scripps is organized into the following operating divisions. Scripps Networks, which includes the company’s growing portfolio of popular lifestyle television networks. Scripps Networks brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living. Scripps Networks Web sites include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYnetwork.com and fineliving.com. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 86 countries., Scripps Newspapers, including daily and community newspapers in 17 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service. Scripps newspapers include the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel and the Ventura County (Calif.) Star. Scripps Television Station Group, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent. Scripps operates broadcast television stations in Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Tampa, Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo., West Palm Beach, Fla., Tulsa, Okla., and Lawrence, Kan.Shop At Home Network, the company’s television retailing subsidiary, which markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to the Shop At Home Web site, shopathometv.com. Shop At Home reaches about 51 million full-time equivalent U.S. households, including 5 million households via five Scripps-owned Shop At Home affiliated television stations.United Media, a leading licensing and syndication company. United Media is the worldwide licensing and syndication home of Peanuts, Dilbert, For Better or For Worse and about 150 other features and characters.

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