Marji Ross will retire from Regnery Publishing, the publishing arm of Christian and conservative media company Salem Media, on January 1, 2020, after a 20-year run at the house. Tom Spence, senior editor at Regnery and publisher of its Gateway imprint, will assume the role of president and publisher on that date, with Ross assisting in the transition.

Ross joined Regnery in 1999, and was named to succeed Al Regnery as president and publisher in 2003 when he left to join The American Spectator. Regnery is now launching a new conservative publisher, with Eric Kampmann, news that also broke this week.

“This decision is a bittersweet one for me,” Ross said in a statement. “The last 20 years have been the most enjoyable and rewarding of my professional life. Working with an immensely talented and dedicated team of publishing professionals, serving an amazing array of world-class authors, and being part of Tom Phillips’s Eagle Publishing family and then the incomparable Salem Media family have provided me with incredible opportunity and satisfaction.” She added: “I’m so grateful that Tom has agreed to take on this role. I know he will be a fantastic leader.”

Spence joined Regnery in 2012 after 13 years helming his own press, Spence Publishing. He also led a sister PR firm, Spence Media, for six years.

“I’ve been reading Regnery books since I was a teenager,” Spence said. “To lead this historic publishing house, which launched the modern conservative movement seventy years ago, is both an honor and a sobering responsibility. I’m fortunate to take the helm from a great leader who has assembled a great team.”

“Marji Ross’s leadership for the last 20 years has been instrumental in further elevating Regnery’s status as the leading publisher of conservative books, and for the last six years she has been a tremendous asset to Salem," Salem Media CEO Ed Atsinger said in a statement. "We are grateful to Marji for all she has invested in the Regnery and Salem brands, and are excited to step into this next chapter with Tom Spence at the helm.”