William E. Branen
Inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2001
A born leader and innovator, Bill Branen earned universal respect for his energy and accomplishments as a newspaper leader and civic booster. He served the Burlington Standard Press from 1951 until 1988, starting as reporter and retiring as publisher.
As president of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, he fulfilled an ambitious goal of visiting each of the 309 community newspapers in the state. Despite the time away from the office, he was named Publisher of the Year by the WNA four years in a row. Later, he was President of the National Newspaper Association. He also served as the first president of the WNA Foundation.
An authority on postal regulations that affect newspapers, he traveled the country giving seminars on that topic and a variety of others.
Bill also pioneered the concept of a central printing plant, where publishers of nearby newspapers could share in the economies of a hub printing process. He served as president of the cooperative Southern Lakes Publishers for several terms.
He will also be remembered for civic leadership and promotion in a wide variety of activities, including Little League, politics, economic development and service club projects.