Newsmakers March 2015

Lou Antonelli 

The Clarksville Times

A good community newspaper is a keystone to the economic development and prosperity of a city.

Lou Antonelli was named managing editor of The Clarksville Times. Previously, he was managing editor of the Daily Tribune in Mount Pleasant, managing editor of the Bowie County Citizens Tribune in New Boston and worked for papers in Winnsboro and Malakoff. 

Antonelli was won awards from Texas Press Association for news writing, column writing, and photography. A Massachusetts native, Antonelli attended college in New York City and moved to Texas in 1985. In addition to working as a journalist for 40 years, Antonelli is an internationally-published author of fiction. He is a professional member of the Science Fiction Writers of America. 


Karen Byerly

Orange Leader

I see the business community in Orange working to bring in new business. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited to be at the Orange Leader, to help make the paper a vital part of the community.

Karen Byerly was named general manager and advertising director of the Orange Leader. Previously, she worked for the Hardin County News for 18-½ years, working her way up from outside sales to sales manager. She began her career in the fitness industry managing health clubs. 


Dawn Burleigh

Orange Leader

The people here are the area’s greatest asset and we will continue to tell their stories.” 

Dawn Burleigh was named editor of the Orange Leader. Burleigh has 26 years of newspaper industry experience and has been a reporter for the Orange Leader since December 2010. Prior to 2010, she worked in the production department for Triangle Press. 


Harry T. Darby

The Pittsburg Gazette

Pittsburg is a wonderful community and I look forward to becoming a part of it.” 

Harry T. Darby is the new publisher of The Pittsburg Gazette. Darby was previously a group manager in Atlanta and has been active in newspaper management since 2000. He has published papers in Missouri, Alabama and Texas. Darby replaces publisher Debbie Knox, who worked for The Gazette for more than 30 years.


Mark Engebretson

Lake Country Sun

Mark   Engebretson retired Feb. 13, 2015, following 15 years of service as editor of the Lake Country Sun and many years of service to the industry through regional press associations. Wayne Hodgin will take over as editor.  


Len Hayward


Len Hayward was named sports editor of the Caller-Times in Corpus Christi. Previously, he was sports editor at the Reporter-Telegram in Midland for 10 year. He was a sports reporter at the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, covered sports at the Odessa American and worked for publications in North Carolina.

Hayward succeeds Greg Rajan, who is the lead online sports producer for the Houston Chronicle. 


Brandi Irvin

Shiner Gazette

Brandi Irvin has been hired as a full time reporter for the Shiner Gazette. She will be covering city council and school boards as well as looking for informative and entertaining feature stories. She lives in Cuero with her husband and two daughters.


Lauren Jette

Yoakum Herald-Times

I look forward to bringing our readers the news that they want to see in the Herald-Times each week.”

Lauren Jette was named managing editor of the Yoakum Herald-Times. She comes to the Herald-Times from The Colorado County Citizen newspaper in Columbus, where she served as managing editor. She earned a journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin with an emphasis in sports journalism. While at UT, she covered the men’s tennis team for the school newspaper, The Daily Texan.


Stephanie Kasper

Shiner Gazette

Stephanie Kasper has been hired to cover local schools’ sports games for the Shiner Gazette. Her main focus is to report on local athletes. She graduated from Rhodes University in Tennessee. Besides working for the paper part-time, she will be starting an organic farm.


The Kerrville Daily Times

Mark Armstrong has replaced Carlina Villalpando as managing editor of The Kerrville Daily Times. Further staff restructuring has resulted in several changes and one new hire. 

Jeanette Nash has moved into Armstrong’s previous role as assistant managing editor. Bev Barr has been promoted to special sections editor. Leah Payne is now city editor

Caitlin Clark has taken over reporting on the city of Kerrville. Sean Batura will cover county government and the Legislature. Victoria Aldrich was hired to cover crime and courts. 


Michael A. Smith

The Galveston County Daily News

Michael A. Smith was named managing editor of The Galveston County Daily News. Smith joined the newspaper’s staff as city hall reporter in 1997. Over the years, he has served as a special projects reporter, city editor and, most recently, associate editor, a position in which he managed the newspaper’s reporting staff. 

He began his journalism career as a police beat reporter at The Houston Post. He has won numerous writing and reporting awards, most recently being named among the state’s “Star Reporters” by the Headliners Foundation of Texas.


Scott Willey

Fort Bend Herald

I am excited about the prospect of becoming involved in the local communities, providing useful information to our readers, trumpeting our success stories and, yes, from time to time blowing the horn on scoundrels when need be.”

Scott Willey was named managing editor of the Fort Bend Herald. Willey has served as editor or managing editor for Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune, Matagorda Advocate, Portland News, Three Rivers Progress and Beeville-Bee Picayune.

He most recently served the dual role of publisher and editor of the Hometown Press, a weekly newspaper in Winnie.

In 2007, Willey was awarded the Jim Lehrer Award for Journalism Excellence for a series of investigative stories titled, “Why Are Our Doctors Leaving?” which explored the reasons the Beeville community was losing its medical staff at an alarming rate.

Mike Wilson

The Dallas Morning News

I look forward to joining with the Morning News staff to deliver a news report worthy of one of America’s great cities.”

Mike Wilson was named editor of The Dallas Morning News. Wilson succeeds the retiring Bob Mong, who served as editor since June 2001.

Most recently, Wilson was managing editor of FiveThirtyEight, ESPN’s first publishing effort not dedicated exclusively to sports. Previously, Wilson served as managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times, overseeing a staff of 240 journalists. Under his direction, Times writers won Pulitzer Prizes in 2009 and 2014, and several others were finalists. Wilson was also part of a team of reporters whose work was recognized as a finalist for a Pulitzer in investigative reporting in 1998.

He is the author of two books: “Right on the Edge of Crazy” (1993), about the U.S. downhill ski team; and “The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison” (1997), about the CEO of Oracle Corp.


Kimberly Worner

The Galveston County Daily News

I have worn many hats in my journalism career.. I have been a reporter, a copy editor, a lead page designer and a manager.”

Kimberly Worner was named editor of The Galveston County Daily News and will join the staff March 9. She began her journalism career as a reporter for a small newspaper in Kansas. She has worked as print director at the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City and publications production manager at the Alabama Media Group in Birmingham. In Texas, she worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.