Knight Ridder Names Two Publishers in Carolinas; Peter Ridder to Retire

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By: E&P Staff

Ann Caulkins, president and publisher of The State in Columbia, S.C., will become publisher of The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. She is replacing Peter Ridder, 59, who will retire at the end of the year. Lou Heldman, president and publisher of The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, will become publisher of the State. The appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2006.

“Ann Caulkins has been an extraordinarily good publisher in Columbia, and I have no doubt that she will be the same in Charlotte,” Art Brisbane, senior vice president at Knight Ridder, said in a statement. “In just three years at the State, she has substantially increased the newspaper’s revenue and grown its market share. Ann has greatly increased the diversity of the newspaper’s work force and officer group. Under her leadership, both she and the newspaper have become deeply involved in a wide variety of community activities.”

Prior to coming to Columbia, Caulkins, 43, had spent four years in Lexington, Ky., at the Herald-Leader, first as advertising director, then as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Her newspaper career started at the Fort Worth Telegram in 1984, where she was promoted to retail advertising director in 1992.

Heldman, 56, joined the Detroit Free Press as a reporter in 1975. He has been publisher in Wichita for four years, and was publisher for six years in State College. He also served as executive editor in Tallahassee, and before that he worked for Knight Ridder newspapers in Detroit, Fort Wayne, and Miami.

“Lou Heldman is one of our most seasoned journalists and publishers,” Paula Ellis, vice president/operations at Knight Ridder, said in a statement. “Lou’s enthusiasm for innovation has resulted in the launch of any number of new print products at his newspapers — and it’s one reason Knight Ridder chose him to head its important 25/43 project in the late ’80s. Lou’s can-do attitude and humor are well known; people like working with and learning from him. Two other Knight Ridder publishers cut their teeth under Lou. I look forward greatly to seeing what he will do in Columbia.”

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