Cathy Hughes | Women Vision SC


Publisher, The Times and Democrat
Group Publisher, Lee Enterprises

Shortly after Cathy Hughes joined The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg in 1972, she got a call from the society editor who said, “Cathy, The Times and Democrat’s on fire.”  Hughes and her husband rushed to the paper and along with staff members watched as smoke came out of the building.  Undaunted, the staff published the paper the next morning. She learned early on the value of leadership and a committed staff.  She has been with the newspaper for 48 years, becoming publisher in 1999, the first woman to lead the enterprise.  In 2017, she was named Lee Enterprises Group Publisher, and her responsibility has grown to management of seven newspapers in seven states from her office in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Hughes is a summa cum laude graduate of University of South Carolina, with a BA in journalism.  She has been active in many community and statewide organizations and was honored with the Order of the Silver Crescent for significant contributions, leadership volunteerism and lifelong influence within a region or community. 

About the Honoree

Cathy Hughes is publisher of The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, SC and Tier 3 Group Publisher for Lee Enterprises which is a leading provider of local news, information and advertising in primarily midsize markets, with 75 daily newspapers and a joint interest in two others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 350 specialty publications in 26 states.

Under her leadership, The Times and Democrat has been awarded multiple Lee Enterprises President’s Awards for Innovation and News and has been a finalist for Lee’s “Enterprise of the Year” three different times as well as numerous SC Press Association news and advertising awards.

Cathy has been active in many community and statewide organizations including the South Carolina Press Association, The Regional Medical Center Foundation, The Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College Foundation and the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce board, each of which she has chaired. She was a charter member and first president of the Rotary Club of Orangeburg-Morning as well as a founding member of the Orangeburg Touchdown Club, charter member of the Orangeburg-Calhoun Community Foundation, the Orangeburg County Community of Character and the SC State University Board of Visitors. She has served on various committees at institutions of higher learning in Orangeburg including SC State University, Claflin University and OC Tech, as well as a graduate of the Furman University Diversity Leadership Institute.

Cathy was honored in 2017 with the Order of the Silver Crescent, South Carolina’s highest civilian award for significant contributions, leadership, volunteerism and lifelong influence within a region or community, by Governor Nikki Haley. She has also been the recipient of the Homegrown Champion award of the SC Department of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award, SC State University Scholarship Gala honoree and Claflin University School of Business Outstanding Service to Community Award.

Hughes is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in Journalism. She lives in her hometown of North, SC with her husband Randy Hughes where they are lifelong members of North United Methodist Church. They enjoy time with their two daughters and four grandchildren, especially at the “pond house” for family gatherings. Always busy even when not at work, Cathy enjoys her yard and flowers, decorating, reading, college sports and her Jack Russell Terrier “BlackJack.”

About Women Vision SC

Women Vision SC is a program that focuses on issues affecting women throughout the state and the nation and a new generation of young people pursuing public service for their communities and the state at large. The program is produced and hosted by former SCETV president Linda O’Bryon.