Chase Rankin has been named president and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star.
Until his promotion, Rankin, 39, was the Star’s vice president of advertising, sales and marketing. He succeeds John M. Humenik, who has advanced to Lee group publisher for Tucson and Madison, Wis.
Rankin's promotion was announced Monday by Lee Enterprises and Gannett Co. Lee owns the Star, and its business operations are owned jointly by Lee and Gannett.
“Chase’s elevation to a greater level of responsibility is a well-earned promotion,” Humenik said during an all-employee meeting. “He’s done a terrific job bringing innovative solutions to our advertisers, as well as being engaged with our community and staff. His passion for growing our business, coupled with his almost limitless energy and strategic leadership, will keep the Daily Star strong for years to come.”
Growing up in an Illinois town with a population of 2,700, Rankin was struck by his neighbors’ hunger for the news. His parents published the town’s weekly newspaper, and Rankin watched readers line up every Wednesday afternoon to get their copies of the latest edition the minute it was delivered.
“It taught me how important that information was to the community,” he said. “That’s something that has stuck with me ever since.”
In his new role, Rankin says he’ll focus on continuing to engage with readers and ensuring the news is delivered effectively using the best technology.
Although media are in a time of great change, “this is the most vital time to be in this industry — we are shaping the future,” he said.
“It’s not that people don’t want information. They’re consuming more information than they ever have in the past. It’s making sure that we’re in front of them and they get the information they need in the way they want to receive it,” he said.
A recent Star reader survey provided “a look in the mirror for us to figure out what we’re doing well and things we can improve on,” he said. “It’s always great to get feedback from our loyal readers. We also want to get a look at how we can attract new audiences.”
When Rankin and his family moved to Tucson three years ago, it was his first time living outside the Midwest. He and his wife, Lynn, have a 9-year-old son, a 2-year-old daughter and a newborn boy.
“We fell in love with Tucson,” he said. “It’s the largest small town you’ll ever be in.”
In his three years with the Star, he received a Lee President’s Award for Innovation and was a key leader in helping the organization earn Lee’s highest honor, Enterprise of the Year, in 2013.
Rankin began his newspaper career at the Des Moines Register and moved to the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2000. At the Star Tribune, he held multiple sales positions and was named salesperson of the year before becoming automotive sales manager in 2004. In 2006, he joined Lee Enterprises as director of the Suburban Journals in St. Louis, earning a Lee President’s Award for the launch of the Journals’ websites. Before his promotion to Tucson, he was director of advertising at Lee’s River Valley Newspaper Group based in La Crosse, Wis. There, he helped the team win Lee’s 2011 Enterprise of the Year award.