The Times is making several managerial changes it believes will help ensure future success.
Shannon Casas, who had served as editor in chief at the newspaper, is now serving as director of audience, a job that “is increasingly important at modern news companies,” said Norman Baggs, the newspaper’s general manager.
In addition, Nate McCullough has been named group editor, overseeing newsroom operations at The Times and sister publications in Forsyth and Dawson counties. John Chambliss is The Times’ new managing editor. He will oversee daily news operations at the Gainesville paper
“The director of audience position takes advantage of the vast amount of information available about readers and their interests and uses those analytics to help shape news coverage so that we are providing our customers with the news they want, regardless of platform,” Baggs said.
In her new role, Casas will be working closely with editors to be sure the paper is covering stories that interest those in our community and “using our resources in the best possible way to meet the needs of our subscribers,” Baggs said.
“The newsroom in Gainesville does a great job," Casas said, "and I know Nate and John will continue that. I’m excited to see what they do moving forward in these new roles while I work more directly on connecting the community with the important work they do.
“I’m excited to better get to know the Forsyth and Dawson communities and work with Nate to meet the needs of those readers,” Casas said.
Baggs said the decision to have a group editor for three markets “will help us to better cover stories that are of regional interest and impact, and to concentrate on the depth and quality of content at all of our news companies.”
McCullough is “an experienced newsroom leader who has worked with multiple news properties at the same time before,” Baggs said. “We are very confident that he will keep our news staffs focused on stories that matter.”
And Chambliss “brings a strong reporting background to his new position,” Baggs said. Chambliss is a veteran reporter who last worked in Florida before relocating to North Georgia last year and joining The Times as metro editor.
McCullough said he believes “strongly in the role of community newspapers, especially in counties like these that are so dynamic and growing so quickly. So I'm excited about the opportunity to lead the journalists in these newsrooms as they fulfill their duty of keeping the residents informed."
Said Chambliss: “We have great reporters here. I'm looking forward to working with them on continuing to cover everything from breaking news to growth and development to bigger, investigative pieces.”
Overall, Baggs said, “We feel very confident that the moves we’ve made will strengthen our news reporting in all three of our markets and will make sure we are positioned for success by always providing our subscribers with the information they need.”
Casas said, “Thousands support The Times with digital and print subscriptions, and local news is worth that investment. I’m grateful to work for a company that believes in local journalism and for the opportunity to move into a role that will support the newsrooms at all three properties.”