Nashville has lost one of its giants in the publishing industry. The death of Gary Cunningham, publisher of GCA Publishing, was confirmed Wednesday morning.
In an interview, real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser Bill Freeman stated that Cunningham had been battling illness for some time, but seemed to be improving.
“Gary was a newspaper man through and through, and would do anything for the industry. He was a good friend and I will miss him thoroughly, said Freeman”
In 1989, Cunningham, a former Gannett newspaper executive, founded GCA Publishing Company launching four local newspapers: Green Hills News, Belle Meade News and West Meade News. . In subsequent years, GCA founded five more publications: West Side News, Bellevue News, Nashville Today, Hermitage News and Donelson News.
GCA also publishes Today’s Homes, Brides-To-Be, Today’s Nashville and the Nashville Dining Guide-totaling eight newspapers and six magazines that serve the local market.
“Gary was an intelligent, passionate man who believed in the power of community news,” said Meekahl Davis, Publisher of Nashville Pride. “He was always willing to lend a hand. You knew that he was only a phone call away if you needed any help or questions answered.”
On Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper tweeted “Gary Cunningham was a publishing giant. He did a lot to help small businesses, inform Nashville, and build a community. He is irreplaceable.”
Cunningham will be laid to rest in a private ceremony with close family and friends.