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The newspaper company is private, and Mr. Jones’ compensation became public only because of his pending nomination. At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Jones spoke proudly of his work at the company.

“I wanted to run a newspaper because I wanted the challenge of leading a private-sector enterprise that pursued both excellent business results and distinguished public service,” he told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. “Little did I know that I was entering an industry that was and is in the midst of the most far-reaching transformation of its history.

“Very quickly I had to develop a point of view about the newspaper’s biggest challenges and attempt to set us on a path to achieve our double bottom-line mission. It has been an incredible journey, and I continue to learn lessons from the challenge,” Mr. Jones testified.

Like many newspapers across the country, including The Washington Times, the Virginian-Pilot has seen its share of layoffs in recent years.

“We’re not in any crisis mode,” Mr. Jones was quoted as saying in a Nov. 22 article for the newspaper. “But we are looking forward at what we think is going to be an economic climate that’s not going to give us a lot of help.”