A Publisher for the Nineties

April 25, 1993

This newspaper, which rarely indulges in narcissistic rumblings in these columns, will suspend its reticence today to talk about Mary Junck, formerly president and publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, who on New Year's Day will become the 13th publisher and chief executive officer of The Baltimore Sun. Because such changes at the top come rarely -- on an average of once every 12 years in our 156-year history -- they have a profound impact not only within the newspaper but, we would venture to say, in the whole community.

Ms. Junck will be our first publisher whose appointment is being announced eight months before she arrives to take over her new post. This, in her own words, is "unorthodox" and requires an explanation. The chief and only reason for this delay is her four-year-old daughter, Betty. A year ago, Ms. Junck gave up her job as publisher in St. Paul so she could spend more time with her daughter before kindergarten beckons. When she was offered the opportunity to come to Baltimore, her proviso was an extra eight months with Betty.

The Times Mirror Corp., which owns The Baltimore Sun, accepted this arrangement not only because it felt Ms. Junck was highly qualified to be publisher but because the priorities she expressed said a lot about her character. She is indeed a publisher for the Nineties, a woman of proven professional stature who knows how to combine career with family obligations. Ms. Junck has sufficient printer's ink in her veins to .. appreciate The Sun's long tradition of exceptional foreign, national and local coverage.

In the decade ahead, as this newspaper's $200 million printing plant at Port Covington comes fully on line, we will be able to publish newspapers with more color and graphics, later deadlines to get the latest news and distribution capabilities that will enable us to meet the special needs of all parts of our region and state. As the largest news-gathering organization in the state of Maryland, we will also be at the cutting edge of new techniques to get this information to our readers.

This information explosion will be a special challenge to our new publisher, and will make her tenure distinctive. She brings to her task extensive marketing and publishing experience with Knight-Ridder newspapers in Charlotte, Miami and St. Paul. But more than that, she brings a belief in the mission of newspapers to deliver knowledge helpful to people's lives and important in binding their communities together.

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