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Daily Mail bids farewell to staffers, announces changes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- One certainty about life is that there will be change.

That's true in the newspaper's Life section, too.

Starting next week, Zack Harold of the Charleston Daily Mail staff will take over that section as the life and community engagement editor.

That's a long title that means Harold will produce the newspaper sections that focus on people's lifestyles -- but also that he's been tasked with finding ways to make sure the Daily Mail is connecting with our readers.

Harold takes over the life editor job from Monica Orosz, who is leaving the newspaper to pursue other interests.

Harold, 26, has worked at the Daily Mail for nearly five years. He most recently served as one of the newspaper's statehouse reporters, but also has covered education and health.

"I'm extremely excited for this new opportunity," Harold said. "I've loved the Daily Mail since I was a kid because it always featured compelling, well-written stories about really interesting people. That's a tradition we continue today, and I'm happy to do my part."

Harold said he is also excited about his community engagement editor role.

"The Internet, and social media in particular, are revolutionizing the way newspapers connect with our readers," he said. "Our stories are read by more people than ever before. And now our readers can talk back.

"I want to help foster those conversations, and find new, interesting ways to bring you the news."

Harold is a lifelong West Virginian. He is from Ashford, Boone County, and graduated from the University of Charleston in 2009 with a degree in print journalism.

His wife, Whitney, is finishing her degree in elementary and special education at West Virginia State University.

Harold is the piano player at Rumble Community Baptist Church and sometimes teaches Sunday school.

You can reach him with story ideas about local features and West Virginia entertainment at 304-348-7939 or zack.harold@dailymailwv.com. On Twitter, he is @ZackHarold. He also is debuting a new blog, "The Pop Machine," which will be available at www.charlestondailymail.com.

His predecessor, Orosz, started working for the Daily Mail in 1984 and has worked in a variety of positions including as a reporter covering business, city and county government and county courts, as business editor, assistant city editor and life editor.

She will be dividing her time between West Virginia and South Carolina and working part- time.

"I look forward to my next adventure, and am confident Zack will bring a fresh and creative perspective to the Daily Mail's lifestyle and entertainment coverage."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail staff is also losing someone else -- Cheryl Caswell, a stalwart and a Jill-of-all trades. Caswell is leaving for three reasons -- Adam, Bradley and Corbin. They're her triplet grandsons, born just last month. Cheryl's help is needed to take care of those little guys.

Alas, the Daily Mail will be missing someone who can do it all.

Caswell has worked at the paper for 37 years. She was hired Christmas week in 1976 to cover the police beat. About a year later, she moved to the Lifestyles department under Julie Kemp, who was editor of that section at the time. Cheryl left in 1979 for about a year when her first child was born.

"When I came back, I believe I was Lifestyles and general news," Caswell said. "For several years, I did all the editing, reporting, photography and layout for Metro West, and then Metro North, which at the time were produced here in the newsroom and were much larger.

"When they were moved out of the newsroom, I was general assignment news and did a lot of legislative and state issues. I wrote probably hundreds of 'My Turns' when that was a three-times-a-week feature, mostly about my family and four kids."

Her job description did not stop there.

"I have been the health reporter, consumer reporter, movie reviewer for many years, restaurant reviewer for three years, and reviewed local theater and music events for a long time. I have reported on all beats, including education, crime, state, city and county government.

"At some point some editor had me report in the mornings, work city desk afternoons and then copy desk doing layout afternoons."

For the past several years, Caswell has covered the federal, state and Kanawha County courts systems.

Andrea Lannom will be covering legal issues for the Daily Mail from now on. If you have story ideas about the courts or the law, call Andrea at 304-348-5148 or email her at andrea.lannom@dailymailwv.com.

Follow Andrea on Twitter @AndreaLannom. The Daily Mail staff will miss Orosz and Caswell but wishes them all the best in their new adventures.


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