The editor and publisher of Capital Gazette Communications, which publishes The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, will retire at the end of the year after more than 35 years at the daily, the publishing company's owner said Friday.

Tom Marquardt, who joined what was then The Evening Capital as managing editor in 1977, also has served as executive editor and took on his current role in 2008.

Pat Richardson, publisher of the Carroll County Times in Westminster, will take over as publisher on Jan. 1. Richardson will serve as regional publisher of both the Annapolis and Westminster newspapers, which are owned by Landmark Media Enterprises LLC.

When he came to Annapolis from Michigan at age 29, "The newspaper was black and white and Internet wasn't even a word," Marquardt said in the announcement.

He said though times have changed, readers still value a community newspaper. Marquardt, who earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Central Michigan University, had worked in Michigan as a reporter and editor before joining The Capital. He has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and was selected as one of The Daily Record's Influential Marylanders in 2010.

Richardson is a former advertising director for Landmark Community Newspapers LLC, which publishes 54 paid newspapers in 13 states. Richardson has been publisher of the Carroll County Times since May 2007.

Besides The Capital, Capital Gazette Communications publishes the twice-weekly Maryland Gazette in northern Anne Arundel County and two free distribution papers, the Bowie Blade-News and the Crofton West County Gazette.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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