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Publisher William L. McSweeny Jr. retires

By NCR Staff

William L. McSweeney Jr., publisher of the National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company since 1986, retired Jan. 1.

The company's board of directors announced in mid-December that Tom Fox, NCR editor since 1980, will assume the publisher's post. Fox will retain the title of NCR editor but will back out of weekly operations.

McSweeney came to the NCR company in February 1986 from Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark Cards where he was an executive in personnel and sales.

McSweeney led the NCR company during a time of growth. He became publisher shortly after the company acquired Sheed & Ward. Working with Sheed & Ward editor Robert Heyer, McSweeney helped nurture the new publishing effort into a successful book division.

During McSweeney's tenure as publisher, NCR modernized its computer base, moving the company into the era of desktop publishing. The result increased the speed of editorial operations for company ventures and allowed the company to expand its newsletters.

McSweeney also used his personnel expertise to expand benefits for the company's 65 employees. He oversaw the introduction of modern business and accounting techniques.

McSweeney enjoys travel and took on the role of a peripatetic ambassador for the company. He also sat on numerous boards of not-for-profit companies, helping to direct the social concerns of both Catholic and secular organizations.

He plans to spend the next six months traveling, visiting NCR subscribers wherever possible.

"I'm proud that I'm able to leave an NCR that is in very healthy condition," McSweeney said, "and doubly proud that I'm able to pass my job on to someone in whom I have a great deal of confidence."

NCR board president Ann Weick, director of the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas, in expressing gratitude on behalf of the board, praised McSweeney for having worked "to build a strong and compassionate organization."

Said Fox, who held the publisher's post for a year in 1985 during the search that led to McSweeney's tenure as publisher: "It has been a most enjoyable experience working with Bill. He has generously served both the company and church. His work as NCR publisher will be remembered for years to come."

Fox added: "I am excited to take on the publisher's responsibilities. I continue to believe, as we prepare to enter a new century, that the full fruits of the Second Vatican Council will emerge in the decades ahead. My hope is the National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company will continue to play an important role in helping shape the vision of an inclusive, compassionate and justice-based Catholicism."

National Catholic Reporter, December 27, 1996/January 3, 1997