Gannett launched a mass-market daily newspa­ per with a quick-to-read format that later influenced other papers

founder of USA Today John J. Curley (1938-), the first

editor of USA Today Frank Vega, the executive in charge of

distribution Cathleen B lack (1944-), the

executive responsible for getting advertising revenue

Paul Kessinger, a marketer responsible for identifying potential sources of advertising revenues

announced in 1981, there was much skepticism about the chance of success of a new national daily newspaper. Although the newspaper industry was attractive in terms of power, prestige, and profits, it was by no means growing. The number of U.S. dailies had been showing a steady decrease, from an all-time high of 2,042 in 1920 to 1,745 in 1980. Further, there was no clear niche that USA Today was trying to fill. Nevertheless, a decade after its launch USA Today had the largest readership in the United States and the second highest circulation, behind only The Wall Street Journal. The daily also had a catalytic effect on the newspaper publishing indus­ try, with many dailies following USA Today's lead. Ironically, USA Today was not able to translate its success in circulation into profitability. A decade after its launch, it had not yet posted a profit.