Patricia Richardson is Pilot Media's New President and Publisher

By Robert McCabe
The Virginian-Pilot
© September 20, 2014

Pat RichardsonNORFOLK - Patricia Richardson, a Maryland newspaper executive with a long history at Landmark Media Enterprises LLC, has been named the publisher of The Virginian-Pilot and president of Pilot Media.

Richardson had most recently been publisher of two Maryland newspapers, the Capital Gazette in Annapolis and the Carroll County Times in Westminster. Until May, both newspapers were owned by Norfolk-based Landmark, The Pilot's parent company.

"Pat has the skills and experience needed to lead The Pilot during these times of change for the newspaper industry," said Michael Abernathy, president of Shelbyville, Ky.-based Landmark Publishing Group, in a statement Friday announcing the appointment.

"It is kind of a homecoming," Richardson said in an interview, adding that she came up on the business side of the newspaper business, starting at The Beacon, a Pilot publication, in Virginia Beach in 1989.

Over the next 15 years, she served in an array of advertising-management roles at The Pilot. Her role expanded to overseeing news, advertising and production during a stint as general manager for The Pilot's operations on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Richardson said she sees her job and that of others leading the newspaper industry as being leaders of change.

While preserving the core print product is a priority - putting out the best paper possible every day - the rapid pace of change in media has created a huge sense of urgency, she said.

"We definitely want to innovate and we want a digital-first mantra."

Richardson, who starts her new job Oct. 6, has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

She succeeds David Mele, who will become president of Norfolk-based Homes Media Solutions, another Landmark unit, which provides digital products and services to the real estate industry.

"I've known Pat for a long time now, including back when she was with The Pilot," Mele said Friday. "Pat is a strong leader, with a track record of success in every role she's been in."

Robert McCabe, 757-446-2327, robert.mccabe@pilotonline.com

See story online at PilotOnline.com