Fayetteville editor becomes first woman to lead newsroom in paper’s 203-year history

Lorry Williams, who has held numerous positions in The Fayetteville Observer’s newsroom over the past 32 years, has been named as the newspaper’s executive editor.

Williams, 55, becomes The Fayetteville Observer’s first female executive editor, succeeding Matt Leclercq, who recently was promoted to GateHouse Media’s national news editor in Austin, Texas.

“Strong community journalism is so important,” Williams said, “and we have a talented group of journalists who work hard to tell stories that matter.”

Williams has served as the Observer’s senior news editor, deputy news editor, assistant managing editor, assistant metro editor and reporter on numerous beats.

Publisher Bob Gruber said Williams’ lifetime knowledge of Cumberland County makes her a perfect match in understanding the community and its coverage needs.

“Lorry will continue to work to uphold the Observer’s long-standing obligation to our printed products,” he said, “while continuing to move the newsroom forward with the digital platforms of today and tomorrow.”

Williams is a 1986 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. She has been active with the Cape Fear Division of the March of Dimes, including serving as board president in 2011.

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