Francis Wick, grandson of Wick Communications co-founder Milton Wick, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Steve Phillips, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wick Communications, announced today.
“I’m delighted to announce that Francis Wick has been appointed President and CEO of Wick Communications. Among the factors contributing to the Board of Directors’ unanimous decision were his record of achievement within the company, his demonstrated leadership and his commitment to the values shared by our newspapers and the communities they serve.”
Francis Wick takes over the company in its 90th year, following the resignation announced last month by outgoing President and CEO Tom Yunt. Wick’s grandfather purchased the Niles Daily Times in Niles, Ohio in 1926 and under continuous family ownership the company has expanded to include newspapers, websites, magazines and specialty publications in 11 states.
Family ownership and direct involvement in the daily operation of the business has been continuous since Milton Wick and his brother Jim founded the company in 1926. Walt and Robert Wick, Milton’s sons, purchased Jim’s interest in the company in 1965 and assumed ownership after their father passed in 1981. Robert Wick is the father of Francis Wick.
Wick is currently the publisher of company newspapers in Sierra Vista, Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, and Tucson. He has served on the Wick Board of Directors since 2007 and is currently Co-Chairman of the Inland Press Association Family Owners Committee.
A native of Southeast Arizona, Francis Wick and his wife Amanda live in Sierra Vista with the couple’s twins, Sebastian and Savannah, ages three and a half.
Prior to his current position, he worked at two other Wick newspapers, in Montrose, Colorado, where he was the publisher; and in New Iberia, Louisiana, where he worked as the assistant advertising manager at The Daily Iberian. He began his career in publishing at Swift Communications, based in Carson City, Nevada. A 1999 Buena High School graduate, he holds an undergraduate degree in political science and a master’s degree in business management from the University of Arizona.
“The newspaper business is a good business. It’s a business that makes a difference, from the communities we serve to those we employ. I’m grateful to lead Wick Communications in its 90th year of operations. We will build upon generations of effort from the thousands of employees who have defined us to those customers who have made us a daily tradition. Our DNA will continue to evolve to be innovative, nimble and courageous.”
Yunt has accepted a position as Chief Operating Officer (COO) with United Communications Corporation (UCC) based in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He said his decision to leave was a personal one driven by the desire to be closer to his children and grandchildren who live in Iowa.
“I am very excited for Francis, Wick Communications and the Wick family as Francis, as a third-generation Wick family member, takes the helm and leadership of the company. Francis has worked long and hard to earn this opportunity and his passion, energy, leadership skills and enthusiasm for the company, family and the mission of community journalism will serve him, our valued employees and advertisers, the communities we serve and Wick Communications extremely well. I am very proud of Francis and have a great deal of respect for him professionally.
“Personally, I have a great fondness for Francis and look for him to achieve much success in the future. I wish Francis, the Wick family and Wick Communications the best as we move into this new chapter of company leadership,” Yunt Said.
From its headquarter offices in Sierra Vista at the corner of Wilcox Drive and Fab Avenue, Wick Communications today publishes newspapers in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and South Dakota.