New Eagle publisher plans to be active in the community

08/05/2011 12:00 AM

08/05/2011 12:14 PM

WICHITA — New Wichita Eagle publisher Kim Nussbaum says she won't be a new face in the community for long.

Nussbaum, president and publisher of the Abilene Reporter-News in Texas, was named president and publisher of The Eagle today.

Nussbaum, 46, will begin work at The Eagle on Aug. 16.

"My husband and I drove in to Wichita not sure if a move was right for our family right now, but the minute we drove in, you can really call it love at first sight," she said.

"We like what we saw. We think it's a great community, a great community to bring our 14-year-old into and raise her..."

Nussbaum replaces William "Skip" Hidlay, who resigned from the paper in May. At an announcement in The Eagle's newsroom today, she was joined by her husband, Steve, and daughter Katie, 14.

Nussbaum has nearly 30 years of newspaper advertising and marketing experience. She has worked in newspaper sales positions at two E.W. Scripps Co. and two Gannett Co. newspapers: in her hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas, and in Muskogee, Okla., Springfield, Mo., and Abilene.

She held senior advertising management positions for three years in Abilene before being promoted to publisher in 2007.

Nussbaum said her door will be open to Eagle readers, and she plans to be active in the community.

"I'm very approachable," she said. "You'll find my cell number on my business cards. You'll find my phone number listed once we're here and settled.

"I also very much plan to be a part of this community, as well as my family. I want people to feel like they can call me, and I want to open those doors up for the community as well."

In Abilene, Nussbaum has been active in the Chamber of Commerce, Junior League, Big Brothers Big Sisters and United Way, including chairing the 2010 campaign.

Mark Zieman, McClatchy vice president for operations, called Nussbaum a "perfect match for this newspaper and this region."

"Kim has a great track record growing newspapers," Zieman said. "She's been a leader in Scripps, not only at the newspaper but at the companywide level."

Nussbaum said she's committed to high-level journalism at The Eagle.

"At its heart, journalism is all about the First Amendment," she said. "Without it, you lose democracy. I think that newspapers by far deliver more in-depth coverage and storytelling than any other medium. I think it's important we're mindful of who we're delivering it to."

So Eagle readers can expect an ongoing commitment to the newspaper's print and digital news delivery systems, Nussbaum said.

"I look at what my daughter does on a screen this big, but I believe the printed product will be around for a very long time," she said.

"I personally don't care how our readers read us. We have many platforms out there for them to choose from. I want us to create a value proposition that keeps them coming back for more and more because they see the value of what we have to offer on a daily basis."

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