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Knight Ridder Names New Publishers in Charlotte and Columbia
Knight Ridder named new publishers for two of its newspapers. As initially announced in September, Ann Caulkins, president and publisher of The (Columbia, S.C.) State, will become publisher of The Charlotte Observer effective May 22, replacing Peter Ridder, who is retiring. In a new appointment, Henry Haitz, president and publisher of the Bradenton (Fla.) Herald, will replace Caulkins in Columbia.

Lou Heldman, president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle, has decided to remain there rather than move to Columbia as publisher, as had been announced in September. Kansas City Star CFO Sharon Lindenbaum, who was to have taken over in Wichita, will remain at The Star.

“My decision to remain in Wichita is purely personal,” Heldman said. “In these intervening months, my wife and I concluded we did not wish to take our two teen-agers out of a school and community where they are doing well. And I found myself ever more reluctant to leave my wonderful staff at The Eagle.”

The moves had been put on hold late last year after Knight Ridder announced its intent to explore strategic alternatives for the company. That resulted in an agreement to sell Knight Ridder to The McClatchy Company; the sale is pending.

“Ann Caulkins has been an extraordinarily good publisher in Columbia, and I have no doubt that she will be the same in Charlotte,” Knight Ridder Senior Vice President Art Brisbane said. “In just three years at The State, she has substantially increased the newspaper’s revenue and grown its market share. Such innovations as the micro-sites and blogs now associated with the newspaper’s Web site, along with Jolie, a monthly targeted publication focused on fashion, have been notably successful. Moreover, 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, 44, 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. She is a 1984 graduate of Baylor University with a bachelor's degree in oral communications. She attended the Simmons Executive Graduate School Program in 1993.

“Henry Haitz has done a superb job at the helm of The Herald,” Knight Ridder Vice President/Operations Paula Ellis said. “He identified untapped opportunities; focused his team on them; and aggressively grew revenue and profit.”

In an intensely competitive market, Haitz launched several products to extend the newspaper’s reach in real estate, home living and medical services. The Herald also launched an employment classified publication, CareerBuilder Weekly. In addition, the newspaper has educated readers about the challenges of rapid growth in news articles and through televised public forums called, Growing Pains: Manatee at Crossroads.

“Henry will provide terrific leadership to The State and to South Carolina’s capital city,” Ellis said. “Speaking personally as an alum of the newspaper, I couldn’t be more pleased for him and for our readers.”

Haitz, 42, joined the Herald as publisher in 2004 after seven years at the (State College, Pa.) Centre Daily Times, the last two as publisher. He joined the newspaper in 1996 as chief financial officer, and was named vice president and CFO in 1998. He served as controller of the (Long Beach, Calif.) Press-Telegram from 1994 to 1996 and as CFO of Suburban Newspapers of Greater St. Louis from 1992 to 1994. Prior to that, he held business-side positions at the Lorain (Ohio) Morning Journal and Pottstown (Pa.) Mercury.

He is a member of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) Liaison Committee, and the Inland Press Association board of directors. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association's Young Alumni of the Year Award and in 2000 was named one of the top 20 newspaper executives under the age of 40 by NAA. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from Penn State University in 1991, and a bachelor of science degree in business administration/accounting from Bloomsburg University in 1986.


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