HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Ed Dawson, editor and publisher of The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the month.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the 68-year-old Dawson is retiring after about 17 years with the newspaper.

Dawson says it "has been my great privilege to work with so many wonderful people at the newspaper and in our community, and I want to thank them all for those opportunities."

Dawson will be replaced as editor by Les Smith, the Herald-Dispatch's managing editor. Dawson's other duties will be split among newspaper controller Georgetta Thevenin, advertising director Chuck Jessup and circulation-production director Dave Hamilton.

Doug Reynolds, managing partner of Herald-Dispatch owner HD Media, called Dawson "the consummate journalist who has never wavered in his passion for empowering our community through the power of accurate news and editorial leadership."

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Information from: The Herald-Dispatch, http://www.herald-dispatch.com