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Gannett Announces Smelser’s Retirement and Names New Publisher

McLEAN, VA – Emmett Smelser will retire this summer after a four-decade career as a journalist, editor and publisher in Indiana.

Smelser most recently served as president and publisher of The Star Press in Muncie and the Chronicle-Tribune in Marion.

Juli Metzger will succeed Smelser at both newspapers. She is a Muncie native where she began her newspaper career at The Star Press. She also previously served as executive editor of the Chronicle-Tribune. Her appointment is effective June 27.

“Emmett has been a newspaper leader in Indiana whose presence will be missed by his staffs, his readers and their communities,” said Gary L. Watson, president of the Newspaper Division. “We wish him and his family only the best.”

Smelser joined Gannett (NYSE: GCI) in 1968 as a reporter at the Palladium-Item in Richmond, IN, where he later served in a variety of editing roles, including executive editor. In 1987, he was named editor and publisher of the Marietta (Ohio) Times. Six years later, he returned to Richmond as president and publisher.

He moved to The Star Press in 2001. He assumed the additional duties in Marion last year. Smelser is a graduate of Valparaiso University and Ball State University. He is a member of the Ball State Journalism Hall of Fame.

“Who better to succeed Emmett than Juli Metzger?” Watson said. “As a Muncie native and former Marion editor, Juli is keenly aware of both the opportunities and challenges in these two communities. She will do an outstanding job.”

Metzger began her newspaper career at The Star Press in 1979. She also has served in editing roles at the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, The Burlington (VT) Free Press and the Marietta Times. In 1998, she was named executive editor in Marion. Two years ago, she became executive editor of The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, LA.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University.

Metzger was named Gannett’s Editor of the Year in 2000. Under her leadership, the Chronicle-Tribune produced a year-long series of articles entitled “Moment of Truth,” which examined the challenges facing the Marion community as well as exploring possible solutions. As a result of the series, a city-wide effort was mounted to deal with these issues.

Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 101 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns more than 800 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes more than 300 titles, including 17 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 21 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.

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