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Grand Forks Herald publisher to retire next year

GRAND FORKS -- Grand Forks Herald Publisher Mike Jacobs has announced he will retire March 31, 2014.

Jacobs, who became publisher in 2004, has held numerous positions in his 35 years at the newspaper, including stints as a reporter, editorialist and editor.

"Everybody who has a long career knows it will come to an end at some point," Jacobs said.

Jacobs was editor of the Herald when it won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage of the Red River flood of 1997. He said, while a challenge, it was not the most difficult part of his job as a newsroom leader.

"Putting out a newspaper during a crisis is challenging, but not as challenging as dealing with some of the personnel decisions you have to make," Jacobs said.

He notes a lesson he learned in his time at the Herald was to place the concept of community at the forefront of the newspaper.

"Community is important," Jacobs said. "And the newspaper is an important part of the community."

Jacobs worked for The Dickinson Press in the early 1970s.

Jacobs said he had no immediate plans beyond "planting a garden of small fruits." He and his wife, Suezette Bieri, plan on staying in the Grand Forks area after his retirement.

"I will die with that morning's issue of the Herald in my hands," he said. "And I plan on living for a lot longer."