The Times and Democrat's Cathy Hughes has been named a group publisher for the Orangeburg newspaper's parent company, Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises.

Hughes on Wednesday was named Tier Three Group Publisher. She will oversee operations in Flagstaff, Arizona; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Maysville, Kentucky; Longview, Washington; Napa, California; Santa Maria, California; and Hanford, California. She will remain publisher in Orangeburg.

“Cathy is an excellent operator with a long history of success in Orangeburg,” said Julie Bechtel, president and publisher of Lee’s Central Illinois Group and company group publisher. “We’re excited to bring her experience and leadership to these additional markets.”

Hughes is a 45-year veteran of the newspaper industry. She held a number of positions with The Times and Democrat, including general manager, advertising director and business manager before being named publisher in 1999.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with other publishers in Lee and look forward to sharing among the group the innovative ideas each has developed,” Hughes said. “We have many common challenges, and I hope that working and communicating together as a group will benefit us all.”

Hughes chairs the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Foundation and was the charter president of the Rotary Club of Orangeburg-Morning. Her former service includes treasurer and chair of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, and president of the South Carolina Press Association.

Hughes holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and is a graduate of the Diversity Leadership Institute of Furman University. She and her husband, Randy, have two children and four grandchildren.

Hughes will begin the new role Nov. 3 and continue to report to Julie Bechtel.

Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, with daily newspapers, digital products and nearly 300 weekly and specialty publications serving 50 markets in 22 states.

Year to date, Lee's newspapers have average circulation of 0.9 million daily and 1.2 million Sunday, and estimated to reach almost 3 million readers in print alone.

Lee's markets include St. Louis, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; Madison, Wisconsin; Davenport, Iowa; Billings, Montana; Bloomington, Illinois, and Tucson, Arizona.

Lee common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE.

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