Charlotte Observer editor retiring


CHARLOTTE (AP) — The publisher of The Charlotte Observer has announced that editor Rick Thames is retiring.

Thames, editor since 2004, told newsroom staffers of his decision on Wednesday. Publisher Ann Caulkins said managing editor Sherry Chisenhall will succeed Thames as editor.

Under Thames, three of the Observer’s projects were recognized as Pulitzer Prize finalists, including a 2007 investigation into foreclosures and the subprime mortgage business. Thames also led the Observer’s coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, the Carolina Panthers’ 2015-16 Super Bowl run, Charlotte’s extraordinary growth, and the protests that rocked the city last September.

“Rick is an editor’s editor whose wisdom has won him the respect of his colleagues throughout our company,” Caulkins said. “And he’s led The Observer with a steady hand through some unsteady times … .”

Chisenhall, 53, first joined the Observer in 1986, and served in a variety of editing capacities. In 2000, she left for Kansas to take a job as managing editor of The Wichita Eagle, where Thames was then editor. She led that newsroom as editor from 2004 until 2016, when she returned to Charlotte as managing editor of the Observer. She will move into her new role after Thames’ departure on March 31.

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