Newsmen hang up hats after long media careers

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Gannett Co. announces the retirement of two executives at Indiana newspapers.

Mickey Johnson, executive editor and general manager of the Palladium-Item (Rich­mond), and Gary Suisman, publisher at the Journal & Courier (Lafayette) and member of the HSPA Foundation board of directors, both recently retired.

Both men said they plan to spend more time with family following their departures.

“I’m grateful for the nearly seven years I’ve spent at the Palladium-Item as executive editor and general manager,” Johnson said. “I’ve worked with a tremendous group of people who are dedicated to their profession and their community. My retirement will do little to change that commitment.”

Johnson, 60, concludes a long career with Gannett that included top editor positions in several communities, including Richmond, Gainesville, Ga., and Port Clinton and Fremont in Ohio.

The Marshall University graduate also served as managing editor and sports editor of his hometown newspaper, The Herald-Dispatch, in Huntington, W.Va.

“I’ve been fortunate to have done something I deeply care about for more than 31 years,” he said. “Not many people can say that.”

Johnson said he and his wife, Sheila Love Johnson, plan to spend more time with their twin sons, who live in Nevada.

“Thank you to Mickey for his dedication and over 30 years of service to Gannett,” said Karen Crotchfelt, Gannett U.S. Community Publishing Division Interstate Regional president. “He has been a terrific editor and general manager and has always been committed to the community and his employees.

“His retirement does not at all change our commitment to Richmond. We are dedicated to providing local, unique and compelling news for Richmond and to helping businesses by providing great print and digital marketing solutions. We will continue to be a part of the fabric of this community.”

Advertising Director Cath­leen Cline will continue to oversee the P-I’s advertising department.

Content Editor Brian Guth will be in charge of the news department.

Suisman stepped down from a 30-year career with Gannett that began in Ithaca, N.Y., where he directed circulation.

Since then he’s been a publisher in Fort Collins, Colo., and then Lansing, Mich., before settling in Lafayette in 2000.

“We sincerely thank Gary for his more than 30 years of service and dedication,” Crotchfelt said. “He has had a positive impact on the community and on many, many employees. We wish him the best.”

Crotchfelt added that “we are committed to delivering great local, unique and compelling journalism, and providing great results for our clients across our entire portfolio of print and digital marketing solutions. At our core, we want to continue serving the greater good of this community.”

Suisman said retirement will allow him the freedom to travel to Florida to aid his 89-year-old mother and 92-year-old father. However, West Lafayette will remain his home base.

His youngest daughter is in high school, and Suisman has taken a liking to the region.

Gannett will not hire a new publisher for the Journal & Courier. Some of Suisman’s duties will be handled by Howard Witt, executive editor, and Jim Holm, ad­ver­tising director.

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