It’s an honor to become your newest newspaper editor


Hello Pierce County.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little information about myself. I was born in Waycross on October 28, 1983 to Freddy and Lynn Gardner. I have one brother, Josh Gardner who is married to Rebecca and they have two sons, Cooper and Lincoln. I also have one sister, Rachel, who is married to Josh Landmon and they also have two sons, Aiden and Owen. 

My family resided in Alma until we moved to South Carolina in 1994 so my father could attend Columbia Bible College and enter into the ministry. We continued to live in South Carolina until 2001 and at that time our family returned to South Georgia. 

I have been married to Carrie Gardner and we recently celebrated our 13th Anniversary on June 24. We have two daughters, Mattie, who is seven, and Makenzie, who is four. Carrie is an Early Childhood Teacher and will be teaching first grade at Blackshear Elementary this school year. Carrie is the daughter of Helen Roberson and the late James Edward (JE) Roberson of Baxley. 

During our time in South Georgia I have worked at The Alma Times, where my father was the Editor, doing odd jobs and helping to insert flyers into the paper twice a week and I began to work with my grandparents, Max and Helen Gardner in 2001 at The Baxley News-Banner as a photographer and sports writer. After 50 plus years in the newspaper industry my grandparents sold The News-Banner to my uncle, Jamie Gardner CEO of Gardner Newspapers Inc., in 2008. At that time I was named General Manager. In October of 2016 Gardner Newspapers finalized the purchase of the Charlton County Herald and I was named Editor of The Herald. On Monday, July 1, MC Gardner Publishing, Inc. finalized the purchase of The Blackshear Times from Robert and Cheryl Williams.

Carrie and I would like to thank Robert and Cheryl for their trust and allowing us to continue the great tradition they have set of serving Pierce County. My family and I will be moving to the community within the upcoming year and I look forward to serving the citizens of Pierce County. 

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know, you can reach me at the office at 912-449-6693, on my cell 912-240-3135 or by email at

• Matt Gardner is Editor & Publisher of The Blackshear Times. Email: