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Forum Communications Co. publisher leads state newspaper association

Steve Dzubay, group publisher of four Forum Communications Co. weekly newspapers, was elected president of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) on Feb. 23 at the Madison Marriott West during the group's 158th annual convention. WNA is the oldest press association in the world, dating back to 1853.

Dzubay has served as group publisher of the Hudson Star Observer, River Falls Journal, New Richmond News and Pierce County Herald for 16 years. He also serves as assistant director of Rivertown Newspaper Group, a collection of 10 area newspapers owned by Forum Communications Co. of Fargo, ND.

With the rise of the Internet, blogs and virtual connectivity everywhere, Dzubay believes "the community newspaper remains a vital component of small-town life and forum for the exchange of ideas in thousands of towns like ours.

"Local papers, whether in print or online, still remain the most relevant medium for the 21st century," he notes. "They faithfully continue their mission of chronicling the lives of 'ordinary' people and offering firsthand, credible coverage and a geographic sense of place in a media world increasingly filled with clutter, hype and endless distractions."

Kent Eymann, publisher of the Beloit Daily News was elected first vice president; Carol O'Leary, publisher of The Tribune-Phonograph in Abbotsford was elected second vice president; and Chris Hardie, editor of the LaCrosse Tribune and publisher of the Coulee News in West Salem and other weeklies in the River Valley Newspaper Group, was elected third vice president. Kevin Corrado, publisher of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, was elected secretary and Brian Thomsen, publisher of the Valders Journal was elected treasurer.

Dzubay succeeds Pieter Graaskamp, publisher of the Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire WNA is the professional organization representing Wisconsin daily and weekly newspapers. Graaskamp becomes immediate past president.

WNA Foundation re-elects officers Genia Lovett, publisher of The Post-Crescent in Appleton and vice president for Gannett Wisconsin Media, was re-elected president of the WNA Foundation. Likewise, George Althoff, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions was elected vice president of the WNA Foundation. Attorney James Friedman, of Godfrey and Kahn was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

Primary foundation goals include public education on First Amendment issues, and support of high school and collegiate journalism education.