Savannah Morning News hires Lubbock, Amarillo editor-in-chief Jill Nevels-Haun

Jill Nevels-Haun, leader of a veteran news organization, will join the Savannah Morning News as editor on November 1, parent company Gannett said on Wednesday.

Nevels-Haun will also be the Georgia state news director for the two other Georgia news agencies in the USA TODAY network, the Augusta Chronicle and the Athens Banner-Herald. In this role, she will coordinate statewide news coverage between the three newspapers and their websites.

“The Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com have become Savannah’s primary media platforms,” Nevels-Haun said. “Comprehensive coverage of local and regional news, based on the journalistic pillars of investigative and corporate journalism, is the foundation from which we can continue to grow. We will continue to accelerate the digital growth of Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com, strengthen ties with the community, and enrich our journalism.

Nevels-Haun comes to Georgia from West Texas, where she is Regional News Director for the USA TODAY Network and Editor-in-Chief of the Amarillo Globe-News, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and seven other community publications.

She has been leading Texas Publications since February 2018. Previously, she was an editor for Monroe News in Michigan; The News-Messenger in Fremont, Ohio; the News Herald in Port Clinton, Ohio; the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky .; and The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia.

“Jill knows how to build and lead great teams,” said Hollis Towns, USA TODAY network vice president for local news initiatives. “We have amazing people in Savannah, Athens and Augusta. I am excited about the possibilities for the future under Jill.”

Nevels-Haun is originally from Florence, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

“Jill is originally from Kentucky, where she launched her career as a journalist before heading west. With this move, she comes back to us in the South. Savannah is a perfect landing point, ”said Pam Sander, Southeast US regional writer for Gannett.

Nevels-Haun was introduced to reporters in Savannah, Augusta and Athens during a video conference on Wednesday and expressed his desire to continue to expand the digital reach of these publications. Online audiences for SavannahNow.com, augustachronicle.com, and onlineathens.com grew significantly in 2021.

“Our goal is to continue to bond with the community,” Nevels-Haun told staff. “We will not only cover our community, we will collaborate with our community. We will strengthen our journalism and continue to focus on surveillance reporting and expand our digital footprint. “

A second look:How the Savannah Morning News tackles diversity – in our newsroom and our community

Nevels-Haun’s experience leading newsrooms focused on surveillance journalism and multimedia storytelling won over the reporters and editors in attendance, as did his commitment to connecting with the community. She is a member of the Rotary Club and a regular volunteer mentor for community youth programs.

“The Savannah Morning News has made significant strides in readership over the past year by deepening our journalism and focusing on content that appeals to large segments of our audience, especially communities of color. I am excited about the prospect of working with a proven leader such as Jill, ”said Adam Van Brimmer, opinion editor of Savannah Morning News, who has run the newsroom since editor Rana Cash left. in September.

Cash left to become the editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Savannah Morning News Leadership Changes:Editor-in-chief Rana Cash’s stay in Savannah was short, but her legacy will last

Nevels-Haun will be responsible for building on Cash’s success in diversifying the Savannah newsroom staff and focusing on content that best serves readers, according to Amalie Nash, senior vice president of local news for the USA TODAY network.

“Rana did fantastic things and was a great leader so it was important to have another great leader to step in and take the next step,” Nash told Savannah staff during the call. ‘Wednesday announcement. “In her current role, Jill has led newsrooms that cover large communities without a lot of resources and has focused on the content that matters to readers.”

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