Richard “Rick” Kennedy, a 34-year media veteran, has been named as managing editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial, returning to Gatehouse Media and starting his duties on Monday.


Kennedy arrives in Pine Bluff after stints at Gatehouse Media weekly newspapers in Helena, Arkansas and Hope, Arkansas. Kennedy also previously worked at the Pine Bluff Commercial five years ago as a copy editor, and later as night desk supervisor.


“We’re excited to have Rick join our team.,” Commercial Publisher Jennifer Allen said. “His extensive editorial experience will allow The Commercial to continue its leadership in providing the best local coverage.”


Kennedy, 55, has worked in television, radio and newspapers, and his tenures in community journalism have taken him across Arkansas as well as several other states throughout the country.


Earning 42 news industry awards and certificates over the years, Kennedy was named a Gatehouse Media “Best Work” award-winner in July 2018 for a feature story about the Miss Arkansas pageant. During Kennedy’s tenure, the Hope Star was also nationally-recognized by the Southern Newspaper Publisher’s Association (SNPA) for integrity in local news reporting.


While working as a reporter at another former Gatehouse paper, the Bastrop Daily Enterprise, Kennedy won the Louisiana Press Association’s first-place award for Best News Story in 1997.


As publisher of the Blackfoot Morning News, a rural daily in Idaho, Kennedy was named a finalist for 2004 Business Person of the Year by the Idaho State Journal in recognition of his advocacy of economic development in southeastern Idaho.


The majority of Kennedy’s early career was spent in various media outlets, including stints in radio, television and newspapers throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In 1992, he won the Louisiana Press Association’s first-place honors for Best Sports Coverage and Best Sports Photography.


He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Louisiana.


He can be contacted at the Pine Bluff Commercial at rkennedy@pbcommercial.com.