Richard “Rick” Locker, a Tennessee Capitol Hill reporter for 34 years and currently providing state government coverage for three major newspapers, has resigned to become communications director for the state Board of Regents.
Locker, a Lincoln County native and University of Tennessee-Knoxville graduate, began his newspaper career with the Knoxville Journal, serving there for three years before joining the Nashville Banner staff. He then signed on as Nashville correspondent for the Commercial Appeal of Memphis in 1982.
In 2014, Locker began covering the doings of legislators, governors, state government departments and such for the News Sentinel of Knoxville as well. This year, after Gannett bought the Commercial Appeal and the News Sentinel, his articles began appearing regularly in The Tennessean, too.
At the Board of Regents, Locker will succeed Monica Greppin-Watts, who has taken a position with the University of Alabama. He will begin the new job July 1, Locker said.
Says Locker in an email:
“I love and cherish my time at The Commercial Appeal and more recently at the News Sentinel too. Both are indispensable institutions in their communities, and the coverage they provide is essential to our democracy. It’s been a high honor and a privilege to cover state government and politics for West and East Tennesseans.”
Update/Note: See also the Nashville Scene blog post on Locker’s exit, HERE.