Lee Enterprises Appoints VPs for Consumer Marketing and News

DAVENPORT, Iowa--()--Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), a leading provider of news, information and advertising in 50 markets, has announced the appointment of two vice presidents:

“This is a really exciting time in our industry”

  • Nathan E. Bekke, group publisher and publisher of Casper Star-Tribune Communications, will move to the corporate office as Vice President – Consumer Sales & Marketing, a new position. He will lead all activities related to building digital and print audiences, including acquisition, retention, revenue generation, customer service and marketing.
  • John M. Humenik, president and publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and president of Madison Newspapers Inc., will additionally become Vice President – News. He succeeds Joyce Dehli, who announced last week that she is stepping down after nine years of celebrated leadership.

Mary Junck, Lee chairman and chief executive officer, and Kevin Mowbray, Lee vice president and chief operating officer, said:

“We believe these are excellent moves that will help us achieve our key goals of transforming and redesigning all our products; improving local news and information across all platforms; attracting larger audiences, increasing engagement and driving audience revenue.

“Nathan Bekke has been an outstanding publisher and group publisher, with especially stellar achievements throughout his career in marketing, circulation and audience development. He will work closely with Mike Gulledge, vice president of sales & marketing and publisher of Billings Gazette Communications in Montana, who will be able to focus even greater attention on advertising services. While John Humenik continues as a key publisher, his appointment as vice president for news takes additional advantage of his strong editorial background, having served as editor and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and editor of the Quad-City Times in Davenport.”

In addition to leading Casper Star-Tribune Communications since 2003, Bekke has had group publisher responsibility since 2007 for newspapers in Idaho, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. He began his newspaper career in 1988 as an intern in the advertising department at Billings Gazette Communications, where he became director of sales and marketing after advancing in circulation leadership positions there and at the Independent Record in Helena, Montana. Under his leadership, the Star-Tribune received Lee’s highest honor in 2005, Enterprise of the Year.

Bekke, 45, has been involved with a range of charitable, community and statewide organizations since arriving in Wyoming. He currently is chairman of the We Read advisory committee and serves on the YMCA board of trustees. He also has served on the board of directors for the Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Meth Project, Casper Area Economic Development Alliance, Casper Area Chamber of Commerce, Child Development Center of Natrona County, United Way of Natrona County and Central Wyoming Officials’ Association. A son is a freshman at the University of Wyoming and a daughter is a junior in high school.

“This is a really exciting time in our industry,” Bekke said. “We reach over 78% of adults every week in our largest Lee markets and our audiences are more engaged than ever before. I look forward to working with the extraordinarily talented teams in our enterprises to grow our print and digital audiences.”

Humenik, 51, is president and publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and president of Madison Newspapers Inc., and also has served as Lee group publisher with responsibilities for operations in Madison and Tucson. He was publisher and editor of the Arizona Daily Star from 2005 to 2010, when in addition to publisher he became president of Tucson Newspapers Inc.

Under his leadership, the Daily Star has received many state, national and international journalism honors. In 2013, it was Lee’s Enterprise of the Year and was recognized for journalism excellence by Lee each year from 2005 to 2013. The Daily Star was named “Newspaper of the Year” by Suburban Newspapers of America, now Local Media Association, in 2011, 2010 and 2008, and was among “10 That Do It Right” by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2013. Before moving to Tucson in 2005, Humenik was editor for seven years at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. He was honored as “Editor of the Year” in 2004 by Suburban Newspapers of America. The Times was named “Newspaper of the Year” in 2002 and 2003 by SNA and was recognized in 2002 as one of “10 Newspapers That Do It Right” by Editor & Publisher.

Among many industry and community activities, he served as SNA/LMA chairman of the board in 2010 and 2013, is immediate past chairman of the LMA Foundation, and is a co-founder and chairman of the Tucson Festival of Books, the fourth largest book festival in the country. He began his career in the Chicago suburbs at age 15, working his way onto sports staffs at the Star Herald and the Daily Southtown. He has held newsroom management positions at The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Times of Northwest Indiana. He is a journalism graduate of Eastern Illinois University.

“Lee newsrooms are reaching larger audiences with high-value content in new and different ways throughout the day and across a variety of platforms,” he said. “This is an exciting time to be in news, especially as we continue to meet and surpass reader expectations for breaking news content, multi-media and social media engagement.”

Lee Enterprises owns 46 daily newspapers and has a joint interest in four others, along with rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 22 states. Lee's markets include St. Louis, MO; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and Tucson, AZ. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit lee.net.


Lee Enterprises, Incorporated
Dan Hayes, 563-383-2100

Release Summary

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE) has announced two appointments: Nathan E. Bekke to Vice President - Consumer Sales & Marketing, and John M. Humenik to Vice President - News.

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated