Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, newly appointed as publisher of… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
Suzanne Fischer-Huettner has been named publisher of The Daily Record, becoming the first woman to head the 122-year-old legal and business newspaper, the company said Friday.
Fischer-Huettner, one of the youngest ever to step into the publisher's job at age 37, had been associate publisher since 2000 and vice president of sales since 2003. She replaced Christopher Eddings, publisher since 1997. Eddings was promoted this week to director of publishing operations at The Dolan Co., parent of The Daily Record. He will continue as the newspaper's president.
Fischer-Huettner, a former business recruiter who began her newspaper career as a classified salesperson at The Daily Record in 1996, takes on the job of publisher at a challenging time in the news industry. Newspapers across the country have struggled through the recession, which has exacerbated sharp declines in circulation and advertising revenue, caused partly by online competition.
"Obviously, the news industry is in a period of a great deal of change, and we're trying to figure out what we're going to be when we grow up," she said.
But The Daily Record has weathered the tough times and even seen increases in circulation, now at 15,000 readers across the state, she said, because it is a niche publication. In 2009, the newspaper launched a paid version of the website and has seen growth in subscribers each month, she said.
"Our circulation continues to grow, both online subscriptions and print subscriptions," she said. "We are serving such a niche audience of business and law. They view the information as essential to growing their business and finding new clients."
As publisher, she will focus on increasing the customer base, improving market share, organizing operations and enhancing company products, which include the five-day-a week newspaper, a website, blogs and e-newsletters, and special publications.
Her priorities include looking for ways to expand coverage and continue growth of the website. She said she expects the newspaper will launch additional e-newsletters and blogs in the coming year.
As associate publisher, she oversaw the advertising and circulation departments as well as strategic planning of all products. In the past decade, she introduced six new statewide events sponsored by The Daily Record, including Healthcare Heroes, Influential Marylanders, Innovator of the Year, Leadership in Law, VIP List and Leading Women. She helped lead a 2009 redesign of the print and Web products. And she often filled in for Eddings, who has also served as group publisher of Dolan's law publications group.
Fischer-Huettner, a 1995 graduate of Washington College who is working toward an MBA at the University of Baltimore, said she expects to remain active in trade, civic and charitable organizations in the city. She serves as a member of the board of Leadership: A Program of the Greater Baltimore Committee, a competitive yearlong training program for senior-level leaders from the private sector, nonprofits and government. She also is a 2008 graduate of the program.
"She had quite a confidence about her," said Jan Houbolt, executive director of the program for the GBC. "She's the kind of person that people like and will want to do things for if she requests it."