Memphis newspaper editor resigns

Thirty-eight years after he began working for The Commercial Appeal’s now-closed Jackson news bureau, Louis Graham has resigned as editor of Memphis’ daily newspaper effective May 12.

From the CA’s report on his exit:

He’s leaving to become executive director of enterprise content at ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

For Graham, who turns 60 later this month, the career change isn’t as dramatic as it might seem. “I’m just moving into another mission,” he said.

Michael Anastasi, vice president of news for the USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee, said Mark Russell, currently Opinion and Engagement Editor for the paper, will serve as interim executive editor while a search is conducted for Graham’s successor.

Anastasi said Graham will be difficult to replace.

“The Commercial Appeal and the people of Memphis, more importantly, have benefited from the skill, dedication and passion that Louis Graham had for journalism and serving the community for more than 38 years,” he said.

“Louis is ‘Mr. Memphis’. He has given his time and his heart to The Commercial Appeal, its readers and the community. His investigative work as a reporter and then as an editor have changed lives for the better – I can’t think of a greater legacy,” said Manny Garcia, Gannett’s East Executive Editor.

The Commercial Appeal became part of the network with Gannett Co.’s purchase last year of Journal Media Group, the newspaper’s previous owner.

Graham, whose departure date is May 12, had risen steadily through the ranks – from reporter to assistant metro editor, metro editor, assistant managing editor and managing editor – before being named editor in 2013.

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