COLUMBIA — The Columbia Daily Tribune is changing hands but will remain in the Waters family.
Andy Waters, son of editor and publisher Hank Waters, said Tuesday that a succession plan has been in the works for a long time. Now vice president for interactive media, Andy Waters will become president and general manager.
Hank Waters will become publisher emeritus on Jan. 1 but continue writing the Tribune's editorials.
Hank Waters' wife, Vicki Russell, will become publisher, the fourth family member to fill the position.
Although Russell will be publisher, Andy Waters said his father "will still be here consulting with us."
"His responsibilities aren't changing," he said. His father will still be involved in big picture issues and meet with the board to discuss editorial policy.
Andy Waters and his sister Elizabeth — Hank Waters' youngest children — are buying out four family members to assume full ownership on Jan. 1.
Elizabeth Waters lives in Atlanta and works in the national advertising sales department for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.
Two other children of Hank Waters will also retire — General Manager Jack Waters and Vice President Mary Waters, who heads up the human resources and circulation departments. Their responsibilities will be distributed between Russell and Andy Waters.
"We'll be a little busier than we used to be," Andy Waters said, laughing, "but we all have a pretty good understanding of each others' responsibilities."
The Tribune has a 109-year history in Columbia. First printed in 1901, it has been owned by the Waters and Watson families since 1904.
Ed Watson was editor and proprietor until ownership passed in the 1930s to his nephew, Henry J. Waters Jr., father of the current editor and publisher.
The publication has a circulation of about 20,000.