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P.M. BRIEFING : Gannett Chief Neuharth Retires

From Times wire services

Allen H. Neuharth, who changed the look of newspapers while building Gannett Co. Inc. into a $3-billion media empire, retired today as chairman of the Gannett board.

Neuharth, 65, founded the national daily USA Today in 1982 in the face of Wall Street skepticism and professional criticism, but the newspaper’s catchy layout, use of color and comprehensive sports pages contributed to widespread changes in newsrooms across the country.

USA Today has a paid circulation of 1.6 million and more than 5.3 million daily readers, according to Gannett.

Neuharth will be succeeded as chairman of Gannett by John J. Curley, who already is chief executive officer.

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