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Charlotte Observer Publisher To Step Down, Successor Named

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David Boraks/ WFAE
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The Charlotte Observer’s president and publisher Ann Caulkins is stepping down after 12 years, the newspaper announced Wednesday. She will be succeeded by Georgia publisher Rodney Mahone.

Caulkins was the Observer’s first female publisher and has been with the newspaper’s Sacramento-based parent company, McClatchy, for 35 years. She came onto the job in 2006, succeeding former publisher Peter Ridder. According to the Observer, Caulkins led the newspaper through “deep expense cuts through the recession while sustaining growth in local news readership.”

Mahone will be the Observer’s first African-American publisher. He comes to the newspaper from Columbus, Ga., where he was the publisher for the Columbus Ledger- Enquirer and The (Macon) Telegraph.

"I am excited and honored to lead The Charlotte Observer and continue its strong tradition of local journalism and service to the community,” Mahone said in a news release cited by the Observer Wednesday. “I will have big shoes to fill with Ann Caulkins’ departure."

Mahone will join the Observer staff in June.