Mary Junck, The Baltimore Sun's new publisher and chief executive officer, assumes her duties tomorrow.
Formerly the publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Ms. Junck, 46, accepted the Baltimore position last spring on the condition that her starting date be delayed until January. At the time, she was on a leave of absence to spend time with her 4-year-old daughter.
Because the move to Maryland went faster than expected -- Ms. Junck and her family have settled in the Laurelford section of Baltimore County -- she decided to begin work earlier.
Already, though, Ms. Junck said Friday, she has been learning about the workings of The Sun.
Before taking the Baltimore job, Ms. Junck had spent her entire 20-year career with Knight-Ridder Inc. in marketing, advertising and executive positions. She held jobs at Charlotte Observer and the Charlotte News, the Miami Herald, Knight-Ridder corporate offices in Miami and, finally, at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where she was named publisher in 1990.
Ms. Junck, who will be the first female chief executive officer in the The Sun's 156-year history, replaces Michael J. Davies, who resigned in March.
Although The Sun, like other dailies in the country, has not fully recovered from the recession, Ms. Junck insisted that the newspaper industry is still vibrant.
"I think it's a real exciting time if you remember you've got to be creative," she said. "It's not as easy as it was 10 or 15 years ago, but that's true of a lot of businesses."