Was Big Al the company’s second presidential CEO?

[CEOs as candidates? Neuharth and Gannett]

Calling ubiquitous presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin!

As we tally presidential endorsements by Gannett papers, a reader says former CEO Al Neuharth‘s scheme to jack up his autobiography’s sales was part of a bigger stealth plan, testing support for a late-1980s White House bid. “The idea was to achieve and maintain best-seller status in conjunction with his ‘Buscapade‘ trip around the country,” the reader says. “All of this was rumored, believe it or not, to be a bid to get himself considered as a presidential candidate!!”

If true, Neuharth would have been at least the second Gannett CEO with eyes on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Co-founder Frank Gannett, a Republican, “campaigned as an avowed presidential candidate in 1939 and 1940, and his name went before the convention at which Wendell Willkie was nominated,” the Harvard Square Library says. (Willkie lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt.)

Earlier: Challenging Obama fanboy Neuharth

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