Leon Tucker, a 1998 Florida A&M University journalism grad, has been named executive editor of the Lakeland Ledger Newspaper, in Lakeland. Tucker is the first Black person to hold that position in the newspaper’s 97-year history.
“Leon is coming home,” said Cindy McCurry-Ross, Gannett Florida Editor, noting that Tucker grew up in St. Petersburg and spent much of his early career at Florida papers. “Leon is overjoyed to be returning to public service journalism.”
Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism and won the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Award for breaking news for a college newspaper reporter, one of only six awarded in the country annually.
He has held reporter positions at the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Times), The Tennessean in Nashville, and The News Journal in Wilmington, Delawar
Most recently he has worked for the Habitat for Humanity in Wilmington, Delaware, and then the Delaware Department of Labor. He opened his own public relations company in 2018 and, for the past year, he has served as the communications director for The Executive Leadership Council in Washington, D.C., an organization dedicated to increasing the number of Black executives in top corporations throughout the world.
The Ledger has a daily circulation of approximately 65,987; on Sunday, 81,366. By contrast, the Tallahassee Democrat’s daily circulation is about 37,745; with a Sunday circulation 47,714.