On Monday, Leslie Hurst, president and publisher of The Daily Advertiser and Daily World, announced that Executive Editor Denise Richter would be leaving the local papers. "She has the opportunity to move closer to her family near Austin, Texas, and has decided to do so," Hurst wrote in the Jan. 4 e-mail obtained by The INDsider."Denise came to Lafayette in August 2005, shortly before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She has been with the Gannett Company 19 years, starting in Salem, Ore., as news editor. She is a Gannett President's Ring winner."

Virginia-based newspaper giant Gannett is the parent company of the two area dailies, the Quik Quarter and Times of Acadiana, along with three other dailies in the state, all of which Hurst supervises. Like other media chains across the country, it has been hard hit by the national recession, struggling from declining ad sales and online competition.

Hurst also noted that Richter's last day will be Friday. "Please join me in wishing Denise well as she embarks on her new adventure," Hurst added. "She will be missed."

What Hurst did not disclose is what Richter will be doing in the Austin area and whether her departure from the local papers is tied to the company's ongoing personnel cuts. Richter did not immediately respond to an e-mail inquiry from the INDsider concerning her future plans.

Read more about Gannett's downsizing and consolidation of its local operations here and here.

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