April 19 Al Neuharth, who founded USA Today more
than 30 years ago and saw the newspaper become one of the
largest in the United States, died on Friday at age 89, the
Neuharth died after sustaining injuries in a fall at his
home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA Today said.
He founded USA Today in 1982, shaking up the newspaper
industry by introducing a color newspaper that emphasized
shorter stories, graphics, expanded sports and entertainment
The head of the Gannett Co. newspaper group at the
time, Neuharth bet USA Today's new look and concept as a
national newspaper would engage readers. It initially was met
with widespread criticism from industry analysts and some
newspaper editors derided it as the "McPaper."
Neuharth led Gannett for more than 15 years, helping the
company to become the largest newspaper chain in the United
States. He retired in 1989.
USA Today grew into the biggest newspaper in the country by
average weekday circulation in 1999 and held the top spot for a
decade before being overtaken by the Wall Street Journal,
according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
Last year, USA Today was the second-largest newspaper in
circulation with 1.7 million daily readers.