Marshall W. Johnston
An accomplished industry leader, Marshall W. Johnston earned the respect of his colleagues and his community with his dedication and friendship.
He began his career as an advertising salesman at the Watertown, S.D. Public Opinion. He worked for the Opinion for 17 years before joining The Janesville Gazette as assistant to the president in 1962. Johnston was appointed president in 1968, a title that he held until January 1988, at which time he became chairman of the board. At the time of this award, he was serving as chairman of Bliss Communications. Under his leadership, numerous milestones were achieved at the company, which continues to be one of Wisconsin’s best privately-held communications companies.
Johnston was extremely active in the Wisconsin Daily League as it merged with the Wisconsin Press Association and was instrumental to seeing that merger completed. In addition, he has been a staunch defender of the First Amendment throughout his career, including involvement in Wisconsin’s Freedom of Information Council. He also worked with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s Legislative Committee and served on Inland Daily Press Association’s (now Inland Press Association) human resource and editorial seminar committees. He was awarded the Ralph D. Casey Award by the University of Minnesota in 1991; the award recognizes an Inland member for his service to the newspaper industry.
A partial list of his involvements includes: co-founder, pas president and board member, Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin Inc.; member Rotary Club; past co-chair, American Field Service Community Fund Raising; former member of the Janesville Economic Development Corporation; and life member, Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra Board. He also was listed on Who’s Who in America.