Peter Ridder Retiring After 36 Years, Caulkins New Publisher in Charlotte

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By: E&P Staff

Peter Ridder, after 36 years in the newspaper business, announced his retirement Tuesday from Knight Ridder and as publisher of The Charlotte Observer, effective at the end of the year.

Ann Caulkins, president and publisher of The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., will take over as publisher on January 1, Ridder wrote in a memo to staff this morning. “I know Ann and am sure she will be outstanding,” he added.

“The last eight years here in Charlotte have been some of the happiest years for my wife, Cathy, and me…It has always been my goal to retire at age 60,” he explained. “While I will be six months
shy of that date, it is so my successor will be able to be an important part of setting the goals, strategies and budget for next year. That is only fair.”

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.

Knight Ridder also announced Tuesday that Lou Heldman, president and publisher of The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, will become publisher of the State.

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.

The appointments of Caulkins and Heldman are effective Jan. 1, 2006.

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