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Jerry Pye named Leader publisher

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Jerry Pye has returned home to the Ruston Daily Leader to be its next publisher.

An accomplished veteran of the newspaper business, Pye has returned to his roots to lead the award-winning publication in Lincoln Parish.

Pye returns to Ruston with decades of experience in the industry, getting his first taste of the newspaper business as a young delivery boy — making sure residents had a copy of their Leader every day.

He takes over for Crystal Richard, who is stepping back from her duties as publisher of the Leader to focus on administrative, human resources, and legal responsibilities with Fackleman Newspaper Group and will retain her title as secretary of Ruston Newspapers, Inc.

Building a prolonged career in not only Louisiana, but also other parts of the United States, Pye’s goal is to once again give the subscribers of the Leader the best newspaper on a daily basis — just as he did as a young boy.

“I had a dream as a young kid to one day run the Ruston Daily Leader,” Pye, a Louisiana Tech University graduate, said. “This is my hometown newspaper, and the opportunity to come back here and be the publisher is a dream come true.

“When this position was offered to me, I couldn’t say no,” he continued. “It’s a great situation because it also puts us closer to family.”

Pye and his wife, Ruby, will relocate to Lincoln Parish and plan to immerse themselves into the community personally, as is their practice from previous homes.

“Ruston is our home, and nothing is more exciting than reconnecting with the business community, our family and friends — as well as embracing the new aspects of our hometown through new acquaintances.

“The staff of the Leader is very solid, and my goal is to help expand and refine what they’ve been doing so well: serving the community with a solid, respectable and treasured local news source equal to no other.”

Pye’s return to the business comes after a brief retirement following a stint in Texas, where he was the regional manager over publications in Marshall, Kilgore and Carthage. His leadership helped those newspapers garner numerous state awards, including winning sweepstakes as newspaper of the year.

His distinguished career in newspapers began in the same building in 1978, when he was named the manager of the Leader’s circulation department.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is that newspapers should always uplift the community and, at the same time, always report news that impacts the community,” Pye said. “The Leader is a great newspaper and has always cared greatly about the Ruston community. We’re going to continue that. I’m happy to be back home.”