Ashton Phelps Jr., publisher of New Orleans’ The Times-Picayune for more than 30 years, will retire and be succeeded by Ricky Mathews. Mathews is president of Alabama and Mississippi operations of Advance Publications. Advance owns The Times-Picayune, The Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register, The Birmingham (Ala.) News, The Huntsville (Ala.) Times and the Mississippi Press.
In statements posted at websites of The Times-Picayune and The Mobile Press-Register, the newspapers said Mathews would take over when Phelps, 66, retires later this year.
Phelps has been publisher of The Times-Picayune since 1979. Five generations of his family have been associated with the 175-year-old newspaper.
Mathews, 54, previously was publisher of The Sun Herald in Biloxi.