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Longtime publisher of Arizona Daily Sun to retire

September 19, 2018

Arizona Daily Sun Publisher Don Rowley, right, presents Barry Brennan, the male 2017 Citizen of the Year, with a framed certificate during the annual recognition lunch at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Ariz., earlier this year. Rowling, the longtime publisher of the Arizona Daily Sun is retiring. Rowley has led the Flagstaff newspaper for 23 years, overseeing changes that included the addition of a Saturday newspaper in 1992 and a move to the west side of town in 1995. (Arizona Daily Sun via AP)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The longtime publisher of the Arizona Daily Sun is retiring, marking the second major shift in leadership at the newspaper since July.

Don Rowley led the Flagstaff paper for 23 years, overseeing changes that included the addition of a Saturday newspaper in 1992 and a move to the west side of town in 1995. The paper later went back to publishing six days a week by cutting the Monday edition.

The newspaper is owned by Lee Enterprises and has a daily circulation of 6,500 and 8,000 on Sunday.

Rowley says his career in the newspaper industry has been rewarding and diverse. It included a 12-year stint at the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah, and five years at Pulitzer corporate in St. Louis. He also was heavily involved in community organizations.

“Every day is different and I have had a chance to work with some of the most interesting, devoted people you could ever meet,” Rowley said in a Wednesday Daily Sun story . “I hope that our efforts to enlighten our readers have made a positive difference in the community.”

Rowley and his wife plan to spend more time traveling and with family when he retires at the end of September, he said.

A spokesman for Lee Enterprises did not immediately respond to a question Wednesday about who would succeed Rowley in the interim. But the newspaper said a plan is in place, and a new publisher should be named later this year.

The newspaper also has a new managing editor following the July death of Randy Wilson, who spent more than two decades at the paper. Chris Etling’s appointment to the position was announced last week.

Etling, a graduate of Northern Arizona University, started as a copy editor and page designer at the newspaper almost 10 years ago and moved up to associate editor in 2015. He had been serving as interim managing editor.

Etling said Wilson taught him to do more with less, dig into stories, listen to readers and solicit advice from those around him. He said he’ll work to ensure the integrity of the newspaper and its relevance in the community.

“One of the challenges we face is the same that newspapers are facing nationwide, which is a difficult climate for journalism both financially and in public perception,” he said. “Beyond that, the toughest task will be covering as much of what matters to Flagstaff as possible.”

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