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Daily Mail announces new editor, publisher

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A change in leadership soon will take place at the Charleston Daily Mail.

Brad McElhinny will assume the position of editor and publisher. He replaces Nanya Friend, who will step down at the end of June after 36 years with the paper.

Editorial page editor Johanna Maurice, a 35-year veteran of the staff, also plans to retire. A search for her replacement is underway.

McElhinny, 41, is currently managing editor and has been with the Daily Mail for 20 years. He also has served as city editor and prior to that was a general assignment reporter with a weekly column.

"I want to continue the Daily Mail's focus on aggressive coverage of local news," McElhinny said. "I want to uphold the standards of the newspaper while also reaching new audiences at dailymail.com and through social media.

"Nanya Friend has been the best mentor anyone could wish for. She has provided a daily example of integrity and responsibility - while also showing that we can have fun while informing our community. That's a model I aspire to in my new role."

McElhinny is a 1994 graduate of Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and a 1990 graduate of Parkersburg South High School.

He lives in Charleston with his wife, Karen, a local attorney, and children Isabelle and Katie.

Friend, who holds an English degree from Virginia Tech, joined the Daily Mail in 1977 as education reporter. She spent seven years covering several beats, including the statehouse, and in 1984 was named city editor. She has been the paper's top editor since 1996 and was given the additional role as publisher in 2004.

"I remain passionate about newspapers in general and the Daily Mail in particular," Friend said. "I've enjoyed a career more challenging and rewarding than I ever dreamed possible, but it's time for me to find a lower-key pursuit.

"Brad will be a terrific leader of a terrific staff. In fact, he already is. I have relied heavily on his intelligence, judgment and adaptability as we have guided the newspaper through an extraordinary period of change."

Maurice, a journalism graduate of West Virginia University, started at the Daily Mail as a business reporter in 1978 and served as business editor from January 1980 until August 1984.  

She became an editorial writer in 1985 and editorial page editor the following year.

"With her analytical and writing skills and her passionate belief in the Daily Mail's conservative philosophy, Hanna will be difficult to replace," Friend said.

"However, we are determined to choose someone who will maintain that standard of excellence."

The changes were announced to the Daily Mail staff on Monday by Jim Brady, editor-in-chief for Digital First Media, which oversees media platforms across the country, including the Daily Mail and its website, dailymail.com.

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