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Longtime Ardmoreite publisher announces retirement

Staff Reports
The Ardmoreite
Kim Benedict

After a 37-year career — 13 of which took place in Ardmore — longtime publisher Kim Benedict has announced her intention to retire from her position as Gannett Sr. Group Publisher for The Ardmoreite, the Shawnee News-Star and the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.

Benedict was named publisher of The Ardmoreite in 2007 and prior to that she fulfilled the same role at publications in Kansas and Michigan. During her time in Ardmore her role expanded to oversight of properties in Tennessee and Louisiana and, most recently, the two additional Oklahoma properties.

“I’ve worked in the newspaper industry for close to 40 years and experienced a great many changes in both technology and process. But the one thing that never changed was my commitment to the communities that I’ve served and the mission to make a positive difference through news coverage, advertising information and staff engagement,” Benedict said. “I know The Ardmoreite and other Oklahoma properties will continue to thrive and serve their respective communities.” 

Benedict’s whirlwind career brought her sweeping down the plains, chasing tornadoes and other big stories along the way.

“In Ardmore, the Lone Grove tornado was a big deal in the amount of devastation and loss of life that it caused. We did a video of all the photos we took and sold it as a fundraiser for Red Cross donations,” Benedict said. “We’ve had a lot of big stories and a lot of them have been very positive — all the businesses coming in due to the growth that we’ve seen in Ardmore and southern Oklahoma. While there hasn’t been just one big story, it has been exciting to see the development in the community and across the area.”

Benedict has been an active member of the business community. She served as Ardmore Rotary Club President for two terms, she served on the Children's Shelter Board for 10 years, serving as chair for two years. While on the children's shelter board she was instrumental in hiring Leslie Christian as the director and raised/donated money for multiple kids in the care of the shelter to provide Christmas gifts, school necessities, and academic trips. As President of Rotary, she pushed for area youth to be involved in RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp). She also served on the Chamber board as both a member and as President. 

“What I have always liked about my particular job is that it’s not the same every day,” Benedict said. “When I go in in the morning, even though I have a task list, I know different things are going to happen that are going to change that. 

“I’ve been blessed to have worked with quality people throughout my career and that’s particularly held true with The Ardmoreite staff over the past 13 years and more recently with the staff in Shawnee and Bartlesville. I’ve also been fortunate to call many of the people that I’ve worked with friends and will continue to maintain those relationships.” 

Benedict plans to spend time with family, travel when the COVID-19 threat declines, and do contract projects to provide the diversity that she enjoys.