After 36 years in the news industry, Sun Herald president and publisher Glen Nardi said Thursday he'll retire March 31.
Nardi arrived at the Sun Herald six years ago, when South Mississippi was building back from 2005's Hurricane Katrina, and he championed the newsroom's efforts to chronicle the area's comeback.
He led the transformation of the newspaper into a digitally focused media company and launched Velocity, an agency focused on providing digital advertising solutions to local advertisers and businesses.
The transformation to digital, which has escalated in recent years, will continue, Nardi said.
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"What's clear is our future is digital," he said. "It is for all media companies. "We've been able to move toward that future in a deliberate but orderly way."
And although digital complements print, he said, "print is still very important to us, our advertisers and to many of our readers."
Nardi, 65, is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served as a Navy surface warfare officer until he retired in 1980.
He then began his news career at the Miami Herald and rose through management ranks, becoming senior vice president of operations at San Jose Mercury News in 2004. A year later, he became president and publisher of the Bellingham Herald in Washington before coming to the Sun Herald.
"I feel fortunate to have worked for three outstanding organizations over the past 43 years," Nardi said. "The U.S. Navy, Knight-Ridder and McClatchy have all served the public interest in important ways. It has been especially gratifying to work with so many talented and dedicated colleagues."
During his time as publisher, the Sun Herald has undertaken investigations into the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, then-Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd, the purchase of land for an aquarium in D'Iberville and most recently the Singing River Health System pension.
Pat Talamantes, McClatchy's president and chief executive officer, praised Nardi's work. "Under his leadership, the Sun Herald moved quickly and successfully to position itself as a digital news and information leader," Talamantes said. "I cannot emphasize enough the contributions that he has made as a leader of our employees and ambassador to the people of communities he has served."
Nardi has served as a member of the board of directors of YMCA, Leadership South Mississippi and the Gulf Coast Business Council.
He and his wife, Holly, plan to stay in South Mississippi after his retirement, although visiting their 15 grandchildren will mean a fair amount of travel. Nardi said they have found the area a great place to live, "and it appears to be a great place to retire."
A search for his replacement has begun.