Marti Buscaglia, the outgoing publisher of the Duluth News Tribune, no longer is destined for a new job as publisher of the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif.
N. Christian Anderson III, the sitting publisher of the Register, said Wednesday that Buscaglia withdrew after it came to light that she had misrepresented her educational credentials on her resume.
Buscaglia's resume incorrectly claims she earned a Bachelor of Arts in advertising/communications from the University of Lima in Peru.
Anderson said the misrepresentation had "the potential to harm her credibility."
He went on to say: "Credibility is the hallmark of our company and its products. It would have been impossible for her to move forward given this development."
Anderson said he didn't want to talk about how the misinformation on Buscaglia's resume came to his attention but said he learned of it "very recently."
"I definitely want to apologize to our readers," said Buscaglia in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "Any misrepresentation on the part of a newspaper publisher really is inexcusable. I'm not going to ask to be excused. I ask to be forgiven."
Buscaglia declined to discuss the details of any inaccuracies in her resume, but she did say: "The problem goes back 30 years. You exaggerate a little bit when you are young so you can get a job, and then it just perpetuates itself."
Friday is scheduled to be Buscaglia's last day on the job in Duluth.
Forum Communications Co., the News Tribune's parent company, has tapped Steve McLister, general manager of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, to succeed her.
Bill Marcil, chairman and CEO of Forum Communications, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon.
"The news surrounding Marti today is unfortunate," he said. "Our company's one-year relationship with her has been very positive and we wish the best for her. It doesn't change our plans going forward."
Rob Karwath, executive editor of the News Tribune, said he was stunned by Wednesday's revelations.
"It's very surprising," he said. "I feel sad about it. I think a lot of people do."
Yet Karwath offered a prediction: "Marti will get through this, and she will be successful somewhere else. She has been a good publisher."
Buscaglia, 54, has served five years as publisher of the News Tribune. She also is president of the International Newspaper Marketing Association.
Becoming publisher of the Register would have been a very positive career move for Buscaglia. The Register has a daily circulation of about 300,000 and employs about 1,400 people. The News Tribune has a circulation of about 41,000 on weekdays and 65,000 on Sundays. The News Tribune and its sister publications in the Northland, which Buscaglia also oversees, employ about 335 people.
As for the future, Buscaglia doesn't know what will come next.
"I'm going to wait and see what my options and opportunities are," she said, adding that she will stay in the area as she evaluates her next move. Buscaglia said she still hopes to remain in the newspaper industry.
PETER PASSI covers business and development. He can be reached weekdays at (218) 279-5526 or by e-mail at email@example.com.