Paulson to Retire from USA Today

USA Today Editor and Senior VP Ken Paulson is retiring from the USA Today, FishbowlDC has learned.

We’ve obtained the staff memo and it’s after the jump…

    USA TODAY Staff:

    Earlier this week Ken Paulson shared with me his plans to retire from his position as editor and senior vice president of News for USA TODAY. While this comes as a surprise, I fully support Ken in his decision and wish him all the best.

    Ken is a journalist of the highest caliber and over his 30-year career span he served as a managing editor of newspapers in five different states. He also served at the Freedom Forum and the First Amendment Center, working to educate Americans about our First Amendment freedoms. Many recall him as a young loaner who was here during the launch of this newspaper and then returned more than 20 years later during one of the most challenging times in our history.

    Ken joined us in April 2004 as the sixth editor in USA TODAY’s history. Ken’s news judgment and management expertise helped steer the newspaper through those rough waters. He brought a new energy to USA TODAY, focusing on the strength of our reporting, as he created a strong model on sourcing and architected the plan to merge the print and online newsrooms. There is no doubt that there can be a perfect leader at the perfect time. Ken was that leader for us and he will always be considered as one of our very best.

    That being said, we celebrate Ken’s choice to leave so he can pursue his other passion, the First Amendment. When Ken leaves USA TODAY on February 1, 2009, he will be leaving to be become president and chief operating officer of the Newseum and the Freedom Forum. He succeeds Peter Prichard, who will work on special projects for one year before retiring. Prichard was also editor of USA TODAY before joining the Freedom Forum and Newseum 12 years ago.

    I want to take this moment to thank Ken for his service, his dedication to our employees and his commitment to our readers. He will be missed by all of us. Prior to Ken’s February 1st departure, he and I will work through a transition.

    Craig A. Moon

    President and Publisher, USA TODAY