Newsmakers

Laura Elder

GALVESTON – Laura Elder has been named managing editor of The Galveston County Daily News.

In her new role, Elder will directly supervise the newspaper’s reporters and assist the editor in planning and managing special news projects such as investigative and enterprise articles. She will continue editing Coast Monthly magazine, the newspaper’s business pages, its League City and Clear Lake Connection publications and continue to report and write Biz Buzz.

“I am proud to announce Elder will become managing editor for The Daily News,” Publisher Leonard Woolsey said. “Her skills, talents and instincts will bring a tremendous energy to the position.

“Laura’s leadership skills will allow her to work more closely with our growing editorial team as well as shape our future plans.”

Elder joined The Daily News as a business reporter in 2000 after working six years at the Houston Business Journal. She has won numerous awards for reporting and writing, especially for business and investigative reporting, and in 2014 was named Star Reporter of the Year by the Headliners Foundation of Texas and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. The Associated Press and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas that same year honored Elder for outstanding efforts to protect citizens’ rights to public information.

“I have always been proud to be part of a newspaper team and a company that has a long tradition of excellence in local journalism,” Elder said. “As managing editor, I plan to support and enhance the tradition of producing hard-hitting stories and relevant features that are important to the communities we serve.”

Elder, a seventh-generation Texan, was born in Corpus Christi, but grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English.

She resides in Galveston with her husband, Daily News Editor Michael A. Smith.

Elder replaces Scott. E. Williams, who died of a heart attack Aug. 17.

Lindsey Vaculin

CAMERON – Cameron native Lindsey Vaculin took over as general manager of The Cameron Herald and Thorndale Champion on Aug. 22.

Vaculin succeeded former publisher Candace Velvin, who retired Aug. 21 and accepted the position of publications editor for the Texas Press Association in Austin.

“I am so excited to get to come home to Milam County to do the job I love in the community I grew up in,” Vaculin said. “I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with old friends and new in Thorndale and Cameron.”

Vaculin returns to Milam County after working for Houston Community Newspapers in the Tomball and Magnolia area for the last five years. She also previously worked with newspapers in Huntsville, Liberty, Sealy and Madisonville.

“I am really looking forward to getting to cover all the wonderful things going on in the community,” Vaculin said.

She graduated from C.H. Yoe High School in 1999 and from Texas A&M University in 2003 with a degree in agricultural journalism.

Teresa Phillips

MARLIN – Teresa Phillips has assumed duties as general manager for the Marlin Democrat and Rosebud News, both in Falls County.

Phillips has been advertising director for the Robertson County News and Franklin Advocate since 2012. Both Robertson County newspapers are published by her husband, Dennis Phillips. 

Previously, she worked for the Clifton Record and Meridian Tribune.

According to the announcement written by Dennis Phillips, Teresa Phillips began her career in the community newspaper industry in 1999, when she started a local newspaper in Johnson City and expanded that newspaper by adding a newspaper for Blanco. She built and sold those newspapers, then went to work at Victory Publishing in Marble Falls. She was later promoted to director of advertising for American Consolidated Media in Ballinger and Winters.

Active in the Texas Press Association, she has garnered many TPA awards for her work.

Jason B. Hogan

SEALY – A little more than a year after joining the Sealy News as a reporter, Jason B. Hogan has been promoted to managing editor.

Following high school at East Central in San Antonio, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, spending tours in Germany, Fort Riley, Kansas and Iraq.

Following his military service, Hogan returned to San Antonio, where he enrolled in the Alamo Community College District, eventually obtaining an associate’s degree in journalism. Afterward, he began study for his bachelor’s degree in communications at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

In the academic arena, Hogan has served as sports and health editor, managing editor and editor-in-chef of the award-winning college newspaper The Ranger, at San Antonio College, and as a copy editor at TAMUSA.

Sealy Publisher Karen Lopez said Hogan stepped up to take control of the editorial department when needed and she has been impressed with his “confidence and his ability to rise above the stress while we are short-staffed and produce excellent quality.”

Cory Smith

PITTSBURG – Cory Smith has rejoined the Pittsburg Gazette staff as a part-time writer. 

Smith previously worked at the Gazette from April 2014 to June 2015 as a reporter and later as editor. He returned after working for Gatehouse Media in Austin as a content producer.

Smith will be writing a variety of content, including features, hard news, sports and a variety of others.

Smith said he was happy to be coming home to Pittsburg and “looking forward to telling the stories that need to be told and promoting all the great things that are happening in Pittsburg.”

Smith is a 2008 graduate of Pittsburg High School and a 2013 graduate of Texas A&M University-Texarkana with a degree in political science.

In welcoming Smith, Gazette publisher Debbie Knox said he will be an asset to the community as well as the newspaper.

Dylan Brossette, Bryan Traylor

ENNIS – The Ennis Daily News announced two additions to its staff. 

Dylan Brossette has joined the media outlet as its editor and Bryan Traylor has returned to the company as pressroom supervisor.

“These two individuals represent key strategic hires for this operation as we continue to focus on driving improvements in quality across the entire organization,” said Publisher Keven Todd, who took over in March. 

“Dylan will bring a lot of positive energy and a focus on producing solid community journalism to leading our newsgathering capabilities, while Bryan, who was a pressman here for many years, returns at a pivotal time as we seek to deliver topnotch quality in all of the products we make to better serve our readers and advertisers.”

Brossette has spent the last two years as sports editor for the Jennings Daily News in Louisiana. He was also involved in a management  development program, where he was able to gain experience across multiple departments incaluding advertising sales, circulation, production and the business office. Prior to the Jennings newspaper, he worked as an editor for Postgame Media Group. Brossette has a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.

Traylor was a pressman for EDN for more than seven years, and he has since worked for newspaper printing operations in Mexia and Waxahachie. He has experience operating and maintaining a variety of press equipment as well as computer-to-plate systems.

Lisa Treiber-Walter

KERRVILLE – Lisa Treiber-Walter has been named managing editor at The Kerrville Daily Times. The move in mid-September is one of very few in her newspaper career spanning nearly 35 years.

Walter first got her “foot in the door” in journalism as a teenager, when she taught herself to type to land a job as a copy setter at the Kerrville Mountain Sun, the weekly paper in her hometown of Kerrville. 

During college, she interned at the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. Upon earning her bachelor of journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1989, she was welcomed there by then-publisher Art Kowert and editor Terry Collier.

For the next 26 years, Walter served the community as a reporter and photographer in just about every capacity at the newspaper.

Along the way, Walter won first places and other awards at the state and regional levels for her writing and photography in news, features and sports. She won “Photographer of the Year” in Better Newspaper Contests in 2008 and 2009 in the West Texas Press Association and in 2011 and 2012 in the South Texas Press Association.

Walter has previously served as a Texas Press Association director and has been primarily active in the South Texas Press Association, serving on its board of directors as president, then as its chairman for two consecutive terms.

In 2014, she stepped up to the position of managing editor for the Highland Lakes Newspaper group, which included two weeklies (the Burnet Bulletin and The Llano County Journal,) as well as a semi-weekly (The Highlander in Marble Falls.)

In 2015, Walter was named a recipient of STPA’s Chester Evans Award.

In 2016, she returned to the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post as associate editor for a few months before accepting the managing editor’s position at The Kerrville Daily Times, a Southern Newspapers Inc. publication.

Donnita Fisher, Britne Hammons

CANTON – Donnita Fisher has retired as managing editor of Van Zandt Newspapers, Publisher Brad Blakemore announced in a recent column.

Blakemore also announced the promotion of Britne Hammons to news editor for the newspaper group.

Fisher had been the managing editor of the newspaper group since October 2013. “She has been a big part of many positive changes we have seen in our papers since,” Blakemore said. 

A journalist for more than 30 years, Fisher has served as president and chairman of the board of the North and East Texas Press Association and on the board of directors for the Texas Press Association. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was chosen by the Society of Newspaper Design as one of its 2012 self-improvers. Earlier this year she was recognized by the North and East Texas Press Association with the Sam C. Holloway Memorial Award, an award presented to a newspaper professional for “outstanding contributions to the profession and the welfare of the North and East Texas Press Association.”

Fisher and her husband moved to Community, near Lake Lavon, to be nearer their two children and two grandchildren. 

Hammons has taken over as news editor, overseeing content in all five of the group’s newspapers published out of the Van Zandt Newspapers office in Canton. Hammons started in the fall of 2013 as a proofreader and soon became a full-time reporter covering eastern Van Zandt County. She and her family have lived in Canton for seven years.

“Britne has earned this opportunity and is committed to making sure we continue to strive to make improvements in our print and digital products,” Blakemore said. “We have a young team here and with Britne in the lead on the editorial side we expect to see great things ahead.”

Robbie Clifton Hamby

PLEASANTON – Robbie Clifton Hamby has been promoted from ag editor to managing editor of the Pleasanton Express.

Publisher Noel Wilkerson Holmes said Hamby has been with the Pleasanton Express for more than 12 years. 

“Robbie’s nose for news, exceptional organizational skills and ability to operate at rapid speed while supervising day-to-day newsroom operations makes her fully equipped for this challenging position,” Holmes said. 

Hamby won a trifecta of first-place awards this year for her column, Robbie Rambles, including first place in column writing in the Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest and first place in the humorous column category in both the South Texas Press Association and Gulf Coast Texas Press Association contests.