Jerome P. Ferson, president and publisher of Aberdeen News Co. in South Dakota for the past two years, has been named publisher of The Ledger in Lakeland.
Ferson, who begins July 30, will replace John Fitzwater, who retired May 1.
Ferson, 35, started in the newspaper industry at age 16 as a part-time stock worker in the mail room of his hometown newspaper, the Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minn.
He has worked at three other newspapers, most recently as publisher of The American News in Aberdeen, S.D., which serves a 12-county area.
The appointment was announced Friday by Mary Jacobus, president and chief operating officer of the New York Times Regional Media Group, which owns The Ledger.
“It’s a thrilling time to join The Ledger, it’s a challenging time,” Ferson said to an assembly of Ledger employees.