John K. Hartman
Author of The USA Today Way books

Press Release

New Book Tells How USA TODAY Built Most Popular, 
Most Profitable Newspaper Website; How Hard News,
Big Profits Quieted The National Newspaper’s Critics;
How Dailies-In-Dorms Program Upped Student Readership

USA TODAY’s website is setting the pace for other newspaper websites, according to the second book about the national newspaper by a Central Michigan University journalism professor.

In The USA TODAY Way 2 The Future author John K. Hartman describes how the newspaper’s online version has eclipsed its newspaper rivals’ websites in three key measures: size of audience, time spent at the site, and profitability.

The newspaper also leads its print rivals in weekday and weekend circulation and readership, making it No. 1 in both venues, according to Hartman’s book, published in March by Stipes Publishing L.L.C. of Champaign, Ill.

Hartman, a CMU faculty member since 1984, wrote and published his first book on the subject, The USA TODAY Way, in 1992. Hartman has been quoted and his work cited on newspaper issues in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA TODAY, Boston Globe, Globe and Mail of Canada, Times of London, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Editor & Publisher

Other key points in the new book include:

  • How Gannett Co. CEO John Curley led a resurgence of the newspaper industry.
  • How USA TODAY’s circulation doubled in 15 years while its competitors either lost readers or failed to gain significantly.
  • How profits and hard news quieted USA TODAY’s critics.
  • How Gannett’s NEWS 2000 program forced its other papers to be more like USA TODAY before it was relaxed and modified. 
  • How USA TODAY became a preferred outlet for news from the White House.
  • How Canadian newspaper baron Conrad Black may make his National Post the next national newspaper in the U.S.
  • How the New York Times spent $7,000 apiece for 3,000 new subscribers.
  • How USA TODAY turned Penn State’s dailies-in-dorms program into a major national breakthrough in attracting young adults to read newspapers. 
  • How USA TODAY’s Ad Meter became the Super Bowl of advertising.
  • How the high-minded “Journevangelists” turned out to be false prophets.
  • How USA TODAY remains the best example of how to get young adults and other disaffected readers like women and minorities to read a daily newspaper.
Tom Curley, president and publisher of USA TODAY, calls Hartman’s book “a must read for serious students of journalism who want to understand and shape its future.”

Copies of The USA TODAY Way 2 The Future (c., 2000) may be purchased for $50 each plus $5 shipping/handling from Stipes Publishing L.L.C., 204 W. University Ave., Box 526, Champaign, IL 61820, or from John K. Hartman, 1400 Wren Road, Bowling Green, OH 43402.  A limited number of Hartman's first book, The USA TODAY Way (c., 1992) are available from the author for $30 plus $10 shipping/handling. 

CONTACT: John K. Hartman, O-517-774-7110, H-419-352-8180, C-419-351-7793


John K. Hartman is a professor of journalism at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.  He is the author of two books, "The USA Today Way 2: The Future" (2000) and "The USA Today Way" (1992).  He has examined much of the research done on young adult newspaper readership and is a widely quoted source on the topic.  Jacqueline Hartman provided editing assistance to the author.

In August 2008 Dr. Hartman covered and blogged the Democratic National Convention for the Mount Pleasant, Mich., Morning Sun. In 2008 Dr. Hartman was named the Al-Jazirah Newspaper Chair for International Journalism at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and visited the kingdom to lecture, teach and give seminars. He is scheduled to return in 2009. To learn more about King Saud University, visit

Copyright © 2009, John K. Hartman.  All Rights Reserved.