Ricky Matthews To Be New Publisher Of Sun Herald

BILOXI, Miss. (AP)

Ricky R. Mathews, vice president/marketing director of The Sun Herald, will succeed longtime Publisher Roland Weeks Jr. when he retires July 31, Knight Ridder announced Tuesday.

Mathews, 43, has spent his entire newspaper career at The Sun Herald, starting as an advertising and circulation intern in 1982. He rose through the ranks to become production director in 1987 and operations director in 1992. He moved into his current position in 1996.

Weeks, 64, has been publisher of The Sun Herald since 1968. A Clemson University graduate, Weeks served three years in the Air Force and worked as an engineer before starting as a management trainee for Columbia Newspapers in South Carolina in 1963.

Last year, Weeks won the John S. Knight Gold Medal, the top prize awarded in a competition recognizing Knight Ridder employees.

``Under Roland's 33 years of leadership, The Sun Herald has grown and prospered as a newspaper, along with the region he loves so much,'' Chip Visci, Knight Ridder vice president for operations said. ``Every day, Roland has made sure that The Sun Herald contributes positively to the quality of life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.''

Mathews earned an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1991 and a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1984.