Lee Leschper has been named regional advertising director for Alaska newspapers owned by Morris Publishing Group and its parent company, Morris Communications. He will serve concurrently as advertising director of the Juneau Empire.
Leschper started his new assignment in Alaska on Sept. 13.
In this newly created position, Leschper will be based in Juneau and act as both advertising director and general manager of the Juneau Empire. In Juneau, he will also oversee the Capital City Weekly, which Morris Communications purchased in 2004.
Elsewhere in Alaska, he will work to develop new print and online products and opportunities for the Homer News; the Peninsula Clarion, in Kenai; and the Alaska Journal of Commerce and the Alaska Star, both in Anchorage.
Leschper joined Morris in 1998 as the classified advertising manager of the Amarillo Globe-News. Previously, he was publisher of the Stephenville (Texas) Empire-Tribune; associate publisher/advertising director of the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin; and assistant advertising director of The Eagle, Bryan-College Station, Texas.
After earning a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1979, he spent six years with a Texas advertising agency as an account executive.
"Lee is an outstanding newspaper executive with an impressive background in all aspects of advertising," said James C. Currow, executive vice president for newspapers for Morris. "I expect his combination of advertising experience and business savvy to make a significant contribution to all our Alaska newspaper properties."
An avid outdoorsman, Leschper has combined his love for writing and the outdoors in an extensive career in outdoor writing. For more than 15 years he has written a weekly syndicated outdoor column that appears in newspapers throughout Texas. He also contributes to a number of regional outdoor magazines in the south.
He's won more than 50 state and national awards for writing and photography, including a first place for best newspaper column from the Outdoor Writers of America in 2003.
"In my short time here, I've really come to love Alaska in general and Juneau in particular," Leschper said. "Beyond the beauty and the unlimited outdoor opportunities, I admire the honesty, spirit and openness of the new friends I'm making here.
"I see great potential for our newspapers to do great things here for the community and the state. I'm dedicated to making that happen."
Journalism runs in his family. His wife, Beth, is a journalism instructor and advisor of the college newspaper at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. His son, Will, is a college senior and assistant editor of the WTAMU college newspaper. His daughter, Mary Catherine, a freshman at that university, was a much-honored high school journalist.
Morris Publishing Group was formed in 2001 and assumed the operations of the newspaper business segment of its parent, Morris Communications Co. LLC. Morris Publishing Group publishes 26 daily, 12 non-daily and 23 free community newspapers in the United States.