US newspaper Miami Herald hires its first Black executive editor

Monica Richardson is the first Black executive editor in the Florida newspaper’s 117-year history.

McClatchy, owner of the Miami Herald, has named Monica Richardson to lead its newsrooms in Florida, making her the Herald's first Black executive editor in the newspaper's 117-year history [File: Joe Skipper/Reuters]

The United States publishing company McClatchy has named Monica R Richardson to lead its newsrooms in Florida, making her the Miami Herald’s first Black executive editor in the newspaper’s 117-year history, the company said Monday in a statement.

Richardson, who is currently the senior managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will join the Miami Herald on January 1, the newspaper reported. She has expertise in metro reporting and a specialisation in digital news.

“We are thrilled to welcome Monica to Miami,” Kristin Roberts, McClatchy’s senior vice president of news, said in a statement. “She has a strong record of leadership in local journalism at one of the great metro newsrooms in the country. Now, she brings her commitment to accountability journalism and a track record of successful digital innovation that serves local audiences.”

Richardson, 50, will focus on growing the company’s audience and digital subscriptions, the company said. She will also oversee Spanish-language edition El Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald, and operate as McClatchy’s Florida regional editor.

“I’m pleased to be working in a newsroom where journalism is the core mission of everything. That’s what drives me in my career. It’s the passion,” she said. “I wouldn’t be coming to Miami if I didn’t see that passion for journalism.”

During her 30-year career, Richardson has worked at the Charlottesville Observer, Florida Times-Union, and Lexington Herald-Leader. She has spent the last 15 years in Atlanta, where she served as the newspaper’s digital managing editor before her promotion in 2018 to senior managing editor.

Richardson succeeds Aminda Marques Gonzalez, who last month ended a 10-year run as the Miami Herald’s executive editor to join book publishing company Simon & Schuster.

She plans to use her digital experience to help accelerate the Miami Herald’s online transformation.

Richardson is a single mother, raising an adopted eight-year-old daughter.

Roberts and Miami Herald President Nancy A Meyer wrote in an email to the staff that Richardson’s hiring is an “important milestone” for the paper.

“I don’t take that lightly,” Richardson said. “It means a lot to me. It means a lot to my family. It means a lot to my ancestors. I’ll step into those shoes and work hard.”

Source: AP