Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Bill Hunsberger was former VP for Enquirer

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

William W. "Bill" Hunsberger, president and publisher of the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and vice president of circulation for the Enquirer from 1995 through 1998, died early Sunday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 55.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that Mr. Hunsberger had chest pains around 2 a.m. and was taken to St. Dominic/Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Hunsberger
Mr. Hunsberger elicited respect from his colleagues.

He "exhibited the three characteristics you would most want to see in any executive - intelligence, ethics and the greatest sense of caring for his employees," said Dave Hunke, president and publisher of the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, who worked with Mr. Hunsberger during his tenure at the Enquirer. "He was truly a great leader."

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Hunsberger attended the University of South Florida and started his career at the Tampa Tribune. Over the years, he worked in circulation management in Richmond, Va.; Beaumont, Texas; Montgomery, Ala.; and Brevard County, Fla.

He was director of circulation at the Clarion-Ledger from 1985 to 1990 and president and publisher of the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American from 1991 to 1995, before coming to Cincinnati.

"From his first day at the Enquirer, everyone quickly came to know Bill Hunsberger as a strong, unassuming, low-key but professional newspaper person," said former Enquirer president and publisher Harry Whipple.

"He was always friendly and straightforward. Bill was a down-to-earth person, who put people quickly at ease - and he inspired all of us to reach just a bit further in order to accomplish each goal. The Enquirer and Cincinnati lost a wonderful leader when Bill accepted the publisher's post at the Clarion-Ledger. But to no one's surprise, he led his newspaper to a new level of public service."

Mr. Hunsberger returned to Jackson to be the Clarion-Ledger's president and publisher when he left Cincinnati six years ago.

"He was a wonderful friend," Whipple said.

"His family and all of us who knew him mourn his loss, and will miss him deeply."

Survivors include: three daughters, Blythe Huguley of Charleston, S.C., Kelley Hunsberger, of Memphis, Tenn., and Ashleigh Hunsberger, of Ridgeland, Miss.; and his former wife of 14 years, Melanie Hunsberger.

Visitation is 6-8 p.m. tonight at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home in Jackson. A memorial service is 3 p.m. Wednesdayat St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Madison, Miss.

Memorials: Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, 525 E. Capitol St., Suite 2B, Jackson, MS 39201.


E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com

Bronson: Answerman in the know on Huggs, others
Pitchon Lev helps the poor in Israel

Norwood can seize properties
Paper maze frustrating
Teens' aching heads keep on
'Verb' program works to get kids moving
Log says Huggins stop not his first
Peters new UC decision maker
Kennedy: It's Huggins' program
Ohio mall terror plot charged
Brother insists Ohio suspect hated terror
Witnesses describe killer's tortured life
Mayor wants spending at English Woods studied
Group of young people visits to do politics hip-hop style
Library nears completion of $1M computer system
Customer charged in vendor's death
Public safety notebook
Local news briefs

Bunning boosts local charities via autographs
Three receivers protect center
Knox Co. porn store owner will challenge obscenity law
Newport water bills to rise

SPECIAL SECTION: Salute to scholars
Grads have steel wills
After an amazing turnaround, scholar leaves them cheering
More Tristate scholars
Proposed closings draw fire
Groups won't endorse levy if schools ignore advice
Schools proceed with new buildings
Notes: In the schools

Web site tracks sections of city
Halt called to home building
Lakota gets compensation
Neighbors digest

Bill Hunsberger was former VP for Enquirer
Joseph Cappel served Chile as missionary