L’Observateur welcomes new publisher

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 2, 2009


John H. Walker, 59, has been named editor and publisher of L’Observateur. Walker has served in the same capacity at The Daily News in Bogalusa since July 2007.

Walker first joined L’Observateur’s parent company Wick Communications as general manager and managing editor of The Daily News just a week before Hurricane Katrina hit and helped lead the newspaper’s recovery following the storm, using generators for more than three weeks to produce the paper before sending it to Natchez, Miss., to print. Under Walker’s leadership, The Daily News has won numerous regional awards, including 28 at last year’s Louisiana Press Association annual meeting. The newspaper was presented with the Advertising General Excellence Award at that meeting and Walker was named recipient of the Gibbs Adams Award for Best Investigative Reporting in the state.

Last month, the American Corrections Association named The Daily News as its 2009 Newspaper of Year for its coverage of corrections issues. Rayburn Correctional Center officials nominated the newspaper for the award.

Walker began his newspaper career while a junior in high school in Greenville, Miss. He is married and his wife, Stephanie, is an RN.

Walker’s post will be taken by j kennon, who serves as group manager for Wick and is president of Pontchartrain Newspapers, which includes The Daily News, L’Observateur and the St. Tammany News.

The change is effective March 1.