Tom Wiley was recently named publisher at the Wisconsin State Journal. Wiley is the State Journal’s 15th publisher in the paper’s 179-year history.
Wiley succeeds former publisher John Humenik, who took over the position in 2013 when Bill Johnston retired. Wiley was previously director of sales and marketing for Lee Enterprises, a company based in Davenport, Iowa, that owns half of Capital Newspapers. The Company publishes Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Times, and several other regional newspapers.
In an article written by reporter Chris Hubbuch, Wiley said he was excited to take over at the State Journal, a publication that continues to report “news that is relevant to the city and the region.”
Lee Group executive, Chris White, called Wiley “a seasoned, high-energy executive. His experience in publishing and innovative spirit will be a huge asset to our team in Madison.”
Wiley says no major changes are planned at the State Journal. He does, however, acknowledge the news industry is “fast moving and shifting.”
Pew Research Center data shows total print circulation of U.S. newspapers has substantially declined from what it was 35 years ago. However, newspapers like the State Journal have gained readership online by transitioning to digital platforms, reaching more than 80 percent of adult readers.
According to the website journalism.org the estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2017 was 31 million for weekday and 34 million for Sunday. These numbers are down 11% and 10%, respectively, from the previous year. Declines were highest in print circulation.
The perception of the news industry as a declining industry is “way, way, way overblown,” Wiley says.
“How we report and what we report influences decisions being made,” he said. “This organization has a massive impact on the community.”
Wiley is a graduate of Michigan State University and a Madison native.
Humenik also plans to stay in Madison. He will focus full-time on the role of vice president of news for Lee Enterprises, a post he has held for more than three years.
[Sources: Wisconsin State Journal; Madison.com; journalism.org]