Longtime newspaper leader and free press advocate, Scott Schurz, Sr., passed away on Monday at the age of 85. Schurz was a passionate and active member of the industry, serving on Boards and Committees of many industry associations and devoting significant amounts of his time and energy to helping the newspaper business as a whole. He was on the Newspaper Association of America (NAA, now the News Media Alliance) Board of Directors for eight years and then served as Chair of the NAA Foundation (now the American Press Institute), and is a former Board member of both WAN and WAN-IFRA.
Schurz spent his entire career working in the newspaper industry, beginning after he graduated college in 1957 at the (Hagerstown, MD) Morning Herald and Daily Mail. He went on to work mainly in leadership positions at several newspaper and broadcast properties, including The Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN) and WSBT-TV, the (El Centro, CA) Imperial Valley Press and Brawley News, and the (Bloomington, IN) Hoosier-Times, Inc. He was remembered by his colleagues at The Herald-Times, who shared that during his career, he was publisher and editor-in-chief of The Herald-Times, The Times-Mail (Bedford, IN), The Reporter-Times (Martinsville, IN) and The Southside Times (Beech Grove, IN). He was most recently chairman emeritus of Schurz Communications, Inc., his family’s company, which owned the newspapers and broadcast stations at which he worked for many years.
News Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, stated, “Scott Schurz, Sr. was one of the newspaper industry’s biggest supporters and an advocate for a free press around the world. His passing is a tremendous loss and the Alliance owes him a debt of gratitude for his passionate and tireless service to the industry and our association. He will truly be missed.”
Schurz was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 2003.
According to The Herald-Times, the Indiana newspapers where Schurz, Sr. worked are now part of The USA TODAY Network (Gannett).