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'USA Today' Ad Sales Chief Out

Paper continues belt-tightening
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USA Today had its first high-level exit since Larry Kramer took over as its new president and publisher in mid-May. Lee Jones, who had been svp of advertising for the past two years, resigned last week, a rep for the Gannett Co. flagship confirmed. Jones hasn’t been replaced.

The No. 2 U.S. daily continues to struggle along with the rest of the newspaper industry. Gannett doesn’t break out USA Today’s results in its financial reports, but indicated that soft national ad demand at USA resulted in a 13.3 percent decline in the publishing segment's national advertising category.

In the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures, the paper recently ordered most of its 1,400-plus member staff to take a furlough, the fourth unpaid week since 2009. The furlough affected the entire staff except for the sports media group, travel media groups and ad sales.