- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mark Russell has been named executive editor of The Commercial Appeal.

The 54-year-old has been serving as interim executive editor and head of opinion/engagement for the USA Today Network-Tennessee.

The Commercial Appeal reports Russell becomes the first African-American to lead the 176-year-old Memphis newspaper. He replaces former editor Louis Graham, who left last month to join ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Russell came to The Commercial Appeal in 2013 as managing editor after serving as managing editor and executive editor of The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel. The newspaper was a Pulitzer finalist under his leadership in 2013 for coverage of the hazing death of a band member of the Florida A&M; University Marching 100.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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