John M. Humenik has been promoted to president and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star, with responsibility also for its sales, marketing, production, circulation, human resources and finance operations. Humenik, 47, has served as publisher and editor of the Daily Star since 2005. Succeeding him as editor is Bobbie Jo Buel, 53, who has been promoted from executive editor. The Daily Star is owned by Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE). Its business operations are owned jointly by Lee and Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). Greg Veon, Lee vice president for publishing, and Robert Dickey, president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing, made the announcement. “John’s accomplishments as publisher and editor of the Daily Star, as well as his leadership in the industry and deep involvement in the Tucson community, made him the ideal choice for leading the entire operation,” Veon said. “He is well respected within both Lee and Gannett.” Veon said Humenik also will continue as publisher team leader for Lee newspapers in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Lihue, Hawaii. “John is an outstanding and proven strategic leader with a strong commitment to and knowledge of the Tucson area,” Dickey said. “His keen understanding about all aspects of this market and our operations will be invaluable in his new role as president and publisher and will further strengthen the performance of the entire team.” “This is an exciting day for our entire Tucson organization and for me because it represents a great opportunity,” Humenik said. “At first glance, it means clarity about how our operation will function, but much deeper it reveals the strength of the partnership we enjoy between Lee Enterprises and Gannett in Tucson. As one operating unit, we have a significant opportunity to reach even higher and move with an even greater sense of urgency. At the end of the day, it’s about helping our customers, readers and community. It’s about delivering value and leadership at every level of our organization.”
Among community activities, Humenik is a founder and executive board member of the Tucson Festival of Books, the fourth largest literary festival in the United States, attracting more than 80,000 participants and 450 authors. He serves on the boards of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Downtown Tucson Partnership, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Pima Library Foundation. He also is a member of the Graduate Club and has served as a community squadron commander for the 358th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.He is chairman of the board for Suburban Newspapers of America, treasurer of Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation, a trustee of Quill & Scroll and The Communications Institute, president of Literary Leadership, a frequent speaker at the American Press Institute and a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Humenik began his career as a 12-year-old newspaper carrier in Tinley Park, Ill. He began covering sports in Chicago suburbs at age 15, working his way onto sports staffs at the Star Herald and the Daily Southtown as sports stringer and part-time staffer. He received a journalism scholarship to attend Eastern Illinois University and was sports editor of the Daily Eastern News for 2.5 years. Before transferring to Tucson in 2005, he had been editor for seven years at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, where he also was publisher of a travel journal. While at the Times, he was honored as “Editor of the Year” in 2004 by the Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA). The Times was named the 2002 and 2003 “Newspaper of the Year” by SNA and was recognized in 2002 as one of 10 newspapers that “Do it right,” by Editor & Publisher magazine. He previously served five years as presentation editor at The Cincinnati Enquirer and eight years at The Times of Northwest Indiana, including four as assistant managing editor. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Brian, 19, and Lauren, 16.
Bobbie Jo Buel, who succeeds Humenik as editor, is a 31-year veteran of the Daily Star. She began as a business reporter, advancing to assistant managing editor for features, managing editor and her most recent position as executive editor.She served as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors in 2009 and is a past president of the Arizona Newspapers Association and the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors. She is a journalism graduate of the University of Arizona. She and her husband, David Carter, have two children, Carson, 21, and Quintana, 18. “There are more sources than ever for news and information,” she said, “but after 133 years, the Arizona Daily Star still stands as the best for news of Tucson and Southern Arizona. I'm blessed to lead a team that is determined to improve upon that tradition of journalistic excellence.” Among many awards the Daily Star has received under Buel’s and Humenik’s leadership:
- Lee Enterprises President’s Award for News (2005-2010)
- “Newspaper of the Year,” Suburban Newspapers of America (2008, 2010)
- General Excellence, 1st place, Arizona Newspapers Association (2010)
- EPpy Award, “Best News Site,” fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors (2009)
- Editor & Publisher's "10 That Do It Right" list (2005)