Bill Johnston


When William K. (Bill) Johnston was named publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal in 2006, the Journal reported Mary Junck, Lee Enterprises chairman and CEO, as saying that Johnston was one of the company’s most accomplished leaders. “Bill is a builder,” she said. “On top of his own terrific track record as an advertising manager, general manager, publisher and regional executive throughout his long career in Lee, Bill has had an influential hand in the professional growth of eight of our current publishers, three of our top editors and many more key managers.”

Johnston, who grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, has come full circle: He joined Lee in Madison in 1973. Then, he worked in a variety of advertising positions at the Globe-Gazette in Mason City, Iowa; the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon and the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. He served as general manager of the Quad-City Times as well as publisher of the Globe-Gazette and the Herald & Review in Decatur, Ill., and publisher of the Lincoln Journal Star before returning to Madison.

[WI 0101] - Part 1: Intro & Contribution (2:29)

Bill Johnston, publisher, Wisconsin State Journal, believes the gathering of local news is a still a strong franchise that will keep his newspaper alive and well for the foreseeable future.

[WI 0102] - Part 2: Strategic Changes (7:41)

Bill Johnston, publisher, Wisconsin State Journal, believes in the 80s and 90s newspapers took on costs that “weren’t very realistic long term,” but if they maintain their core – “accurate reporting and watchdog journalism” -- they can still play a key role in their communities and survive financially.

[WI 0103] - Part 3: The Future & Career Prospects (3:17)

Bill Johnston, publisher, Wisconsin State Journal, believes swapping the name “newspaper” for “media company” is not a wise move, since newspaper is a still “a strong brand name.”