McLEAN, Va. — After more than 40 years with Gannett, John Zidich is ready to hand off the responsibilities of the media company’s domestic publishing portfolio.

Zidich said Thursday he plans to retire April 3, 2018, as president of domestic publishing and publisher of USA TODAY. Zidich’s role at Gannett has involved oversight of the company’s 109 local media properties and USA TODAY. 

Before moving into his current role in 2015, Zidich was chief executive of Republic Media and publisher of The Arizona Republic and West Group president. Prior to that, Zidich served as president and publisher of the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal.

He joined Gannett in 1977 at The Stockton (Calif.) Record, formerly owned by the media company. 

“John’s career has been full of many outstanding accomplishments because he always believed in our purpose and that our customers and employees come first,” said Robert Dickey, Gannett president and chief executive officer. “A number of us owe John a great deal for his wise counsel and mentoring over the years.”

Zidich oversaw Gannett’s domestic publishing business, including print and related digital products and sales during a critical time as the company underwent a split in 2015, separating its broadcast and digital businesses into a new corporation, Tegna. 

During Zidich’s time as head of Gannett’s domestic publishing division, the company improved coordination among its local and national markets by uniting them as the USA TODAY NETWORK. Gannett also expanded by adding the Journal Media Group — its 15 media properties included the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn. — and the New Jersey Media Group. Zidich will continue to serve at Gannett over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition, according to Dickey. 

“I was thrilled when John accepted his current role because I knew he was the right person to bring our local properties and USA TODAY together under one leader,” Dickey said. “The results have been outstanding and he has built a terrific team that will continue to carry on as he enjoys his new journey.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.