By Daniel Paulling
When Zack Creglow arrived in Jackson, Miss., he had already started his new job.
While stopped for gas on his 1,400-mile drive last year from Casper, Wyo., the Clarion-Ledger sports editor saw on Twitter that Jackson was the hometown of Rivals’ top 2015 basketball player, Malik Newman. Creglow began thinking of how his new paper could approach the story over the next year.
“I thought to myself the possibilities that are there from a local perspective but a regional and nationwide interest that will build in this athlete’s recruitment,” Creglow said. “I wanted to know — it’s kind of like ‘Hoop Dreams’ — what it’s like to be this person.”
Although Creglow’s first week came during the always-hectic SEC football media days, he soon developed a story approach with his high school sports editor, Chris Thomas. The video series — led by Thomas, Courtney Cronin and Nick Talbot — covered Newman’s junior season and won APSE’s 500,000 to 2 million unique visitors multimedia contest in March.
But knowing to focus on a star local recruit is an easy part of becoming a sports editor at a new paper. More challenging for Creglow was the adjustment to leading a new staff and learning what reader expectations were in a different part of the country.
“I think every editor would prefer some time,” Creglow said. “There wasn’t a honeymoon period, where you have a little bit of time to sit back and look at the lay of the land. I don’t think you have a choice. You just have to go.
“You have to ask questions and you’ve really got to lean on your staff on what their desires are. I was really lucky in that regard, that we had a staff that was incredibly helpful for me the entire time I’ve been here.”
Including the award for the Newman series, the Clarion-Ledger won six APSEs in March.
The paper has also helped Talbot become the sports editor at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Talty become a recruiting and college football writer for the Alabama Media Group and Thomas become a sports curator for the Alabama Media Group.
Other personnel moves across the nation:
AP: Hired Oskar Garcia as AP’s east sports editor
Bleacher Report: Hired Jason Cole as NFL reporter
Fox Sports: Hired Stewart Mandel, previously of Sports Illustrated, to cover college football…hired Peter Fuertes, who had been a copy editor at the Orange County Register, as copy editor…hired Luke Thompson, who had been covering Austin Peay for the Leaf Chronicle, as St. Louis pro sports beat writer at Fox Sports Midwest
Roanoke Times: Hired Andee Djuric as copy editor and designer
Green Bay Press-Gazette: Hired Ryan Wood, who covered South Carolina for Charleston Post and Courier, for Green Bay Packers beat
Toledo Blade: Hired Nick Piotrowicz, who was at the Rocky Mount Telegram, to cover University of Toledo
Oklahoman: Hired Kyle Fredrickson to cover Oklahoma State
Omaha World Herald: Hired Tony Boone to cover Omaha Storm Chasers and University of Nebraska-Omaha beat
Post-Dispatch: Moved Stu Durando from University of Illinois basketball beat to St. Louis University beat
Southeast Missourian: Hired Trent Singer, who had been assistant sports editor at the New Era (Hopkinsville, Ky.), as preps reporter
Tulsa World: Hired Mark Cooper, who had been at the Los Angeles Register, to cover Oklahoma State…moved Kelly Hines from Oklahoma State to Tulsa beat
(Wilmington, Del.) News Journal: Hired Meghan Montemurro, who was covering Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox for Northwest Herald, as Philadelphia Phillies beat writer
NJ.com: Hired Keith Sargeant, of Gannett NJ, to cover Rutgers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Hired Tyler Batiste, former Delaware News Journal assistant sports editor, as digital news editor
Times West Virginia: Promoted Matt Welch to sports editor…hired Joe Mitchin as sports reporter
Washington Post: Hired Angel Rodriguez, formerly the Cincinnati Enquirer sports editor, as mobile editor…hired Jorge Castillo, who was covering New York Yankees for NJ.com, to cover Washington Wizards
Washington Times: Hired Todd Dybas, who was covering the Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune, as pro sports enterprise writer…hired Tom Schad as a sports reporter
Syracuse Media Group: Hired Matthew Fairburn as Buffalo Bills beat writer
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Hired Jon Gerardi as assistant sports editor
Oregonian: Lost sports editor Seth Prince, who is taking a position with the University of Oklahoma Student Media
Seattle Times: Hired Matt Pentz, who was covering preps for Daily News (Longview, Wash.), to cover soccer…hired Solange Reyner, who was at the Sarasota Herald Tribune, as high school sports/desk editor
Tacoma News Tribune: Hired Gregg Bell, who had been with the University of Washington athletics, hired to cover Seattle Seahawks
Alabama Media Group: Hired Lars Anderson as special contributor
Athens Banner-Herald: Hired Fletcher Page, who was publisher of Scout’s Illinois website, as sports editor…hired Tyler Mayforth, who was San Marcos (Texas) Daily Record sports editor, as designer/online producer
Index-Journal: Lost sports reporter Jordan Anders, who was hired by the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record
New Orleans Advocate: Hired Nick Underhill, who was covering New England Patriots for MassLive, to cover New Orleans Saints
News Sentinel: Hired Dustin Dopirak, who had been covering Indiana University for Herald-Times, as University of Tennessee football beat writer
NOLA Media Group: Hired Evan Woodbery, who had been covering Tennessee football for Knoxville News Sentinel, to cover the New Orleans Saints
Tuscaloosa News: Lost Harold Stout, sports managing editor, from the copy desk and longtime sports writer Andrew Carroll to retirement…Promoted Edwin Stanton to sports managing editor…Hired Joey Chandler, who was at the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, to cover high school sports…hired Reina Kempt, who was at Natchez (Miss.) Democrat, as designer/copy editor
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Moved Drew Davison from Texas Rangers to Dallas Cowboys beat…moved Stefan Stevenson from TCU to Rangers…moved Carlos Mendez from Cowboys to TCU
Houston Chronicle: Hired Jeff Patterson, who had been at the Courier-Journal, as lead sports designer
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Hired Daniel Paulling, who was covering Murray State for the Paducah (Ky.) Sun, to cover Texas Tech recruiting…hired Phil Terrigno as high school sports editor
San Antonio Express-News: Promoted Douglas Pils to sports editor
Los Angeles Times: Lost sports editor Mike James, who is retiring after 27 years at the paper