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Kelly joins LEADER staff

The DAILY LEADER announced today the naming of a new managingeditor to take over the management of the newspaper’s newsroom.

J. Ben Kelly joins the newspaper from The Sun Herald in Biloxi,where he had served as copy and design desk chief since 2003. Hepreviously worked six years at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, wherehe was a copy editor and assistant news editor of the Gannett-owneddaily.

“We are excited to have a person of Kelly’s background andability to join our newsroom staff,” said DAILY LEADER PublisherBill Jacobs. “We have conducted a long and intensive search overthe past few months to find the right individual who brings certainabilities that will allow this newspaper to build on its strengthsand better serve our readers. Ben fits that need very well, bringsa background and training from two of the state’s largest newspapercompanies which should allow us to improve on the strong efforts ofthe past,” Jacobs added.

“I am excited to join the dedicated team at The DAILY LEADER.The newspaper has a well-earned reputation for serving itscommunity, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help takethis paper to the next level,” Kelly said.

Kelly is a native of Jackson and a graduate of Clinton HighSchool. He studied Spanish and journalism at the University ofAlabama and is currently enrolled in Mississippi State University’smeteorology program.

Kelly, 31, succeeds Nanette Laster as managing editor. Lasterdecided earlier in the year to return to school and left thenewspaper last month after a 15-year career at the newspaper.