Former Ann Arbor News publisher David C. Sharp dies
David C. Sharp, former publisher of The Ann Arbor News and Flint Journal, died Friday after recently being diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Sharp served as publisher of The Ann Arbor News from1999 to 2005, when he was named publisher of The Flint Journal. He remained at The Journal until he retired in 2009 after nearly four decades as a newspaperman.
He retired as The Journal began a monumental shift in focus from print to online news reporting and advertising, handing over the reins to his son Matt Sharp, who is now vice president of sales and marketing for MLive Media Group. Sharp previously served as publisher of The Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock, Texas, for nearly five years. Born in Kansas, Sharp grew up in Wisconsin. He started his newspaper career in 1970 as an advertising sales executive in Madison, Wis. He held other advertising and operations positions prior to being named publisher in 1982 at The Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. Sharp led newspapers through many technological changes, but upon his retirement in 2009, he said his memories were steeped in relationships, not technology. "During my 39-year career, we moved from hot type to cold type, from letterpress printing to offset printing," he said. "I've built two printing plants and signed a national printing contract with The New York Times. (But) my most notable memory will be the wonderful people I have worked with in my career." Sharp is married to Caroline and is father of five children.
Sharp's community service includes terms on the boards of directors of the Flint Institute of Music, the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, Washtenaw Development Council, Washtenaw Community College Foundation and St. Joseph Hospital. He is past chairman of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Washtenaw United Way and served as a trustee at Baker College. Sharp also served on the board of directors of the Inland Press Association and as treasurer of the Michigan Press Association. Friends and associates can leave messages on a CaringBridge site established for Sharp.