Updated at 6 p.m. EST
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced today that Managing Editor Julia Wallace will become editor on July 1. Wallace, 45, will succeed Ron Martin, who will soon turn 65.
Wallace is the first female editor of the AJC, according to Publisher Roger Kintzel.
Also announced today is the departure of Executive Editor John Walter. He had been the No. 2 news executive at the paper. Kintzel said Walter’s decision to leave was “his decision. We wanted him to stay.”
Martin is expected to continue his work with the newspaper’s Washington and foreign bureaus. He may also work with Cox newspaper Web sites.
Kintzel said the paper has been working on a transition plan for some time now. “We’ve known that Martin would be 65 in October,” he said. “When Julia came in January of last year, we had high hopes for her. She’s done exceedingly well since she’s been there.”
Kintzel said Wallace would have to settle into her new position before a new executive editor or managing editor could be named.
Wallace, who served as an intern at the Atlanta Journal in 1977, joined the Atlanta Constitution last year after serving as managing editor for the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. She also worked for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., and USA Today.