AKRON, Ohio - The publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal announced Tuesday she is stepping down after six years, saying it's been an honor to have held the position.
Andrea Mathewson will retire at the end of September as publisher of the newspaper and Ohio.com, after becoming the Beacon Journal's first female publisher on June 7, 2007, the paper reported (http://bit.ly/15VkhKG).
Mathewson, 54, said the decision was hers. She said it was time for a change.
"Upholding the tradition of the Beacon Journal was one of my top goals," Mathewson told the paper. "I sit in John S. Knight's office. It has been an honor to be publisher of the Beacon Journal."
A native of Akron, Mathewson joined the Beacon Journal when she was 18 in her first full-time job out of Springfield High School. She worked in a variety of roles and departments, starting as a classified phone sales representative and working in advertising, the mailroom and production departments.
The newspaper said that despite challenges facing the industry as revenue shifts from print to other media, the Alliance for Audited Media places the combined readership of the paper and Ohio.com among the top 25 U.S. newspapers for readership growth.
Readership, defined as the number of people reading the paper in print and online, was 551,551 as of March 31, up 6.1 percent from the 519,690 total reported for the same date last year.
The publishing company has also launched a series of websites through Ohio.com designed to deliver local news and advertising content to local audiences.
Mathewson is a past board member of the Ohio Newspaper Association. In 2006, Editor & Publisher magazine, an industry trade journal, named her one of the nation's top production executives.
Information from: Akron Beacon Journal,