The Inter-Mountain Publisher and General Manager Heather Goodwin Henline announces several changes to the paper's news gathering operation, including a new executive editor, managing editor and sports editor.
Matthew Burdette will succeed Linda Howell Skidmore as editor. Skidmore left The Inter-Mountain in September for a position at Davis & Elkins College.
"This is an exciting time at The Inter-Mountain, and I am very pleased to have someone with Matt's extensive experience at the helm of the newsroom," Goodwin Henline said.
Most recently, Burdette was director of commercial printing at The Inter-Mountain, but he has served in a variety of roles during his 21-year career with Ogden Newspapers. Prior to moving to Elkins, he served as city editor at The Journal in Martinsburg, and was news editor at The Parkersburg News and Sentinel for many years.
"I am extremely excited to return to my roots in the editorial department," Burdette said. "This newspaper has such a rich tradition of quality, community journalism, and I am truly overwhelmed and humbled by this amazing opportunity."
"I look forward to working with our award-winning news team, and to help build upon past success in both the newspaper's print and online editions. We intend to remain on the industry's cutting edge and to bring the people of Central West Virginia the most comprehensive, balanced coverage of local news, politics and sports."
Throughout his career in the newspaper business, Burdette has garnered several awards from the West Virginia Press Association for news and feature and column writing as well as many awards for graphic design and photography.
Burdette is a native of Williamstown and resides in Elkins with his brother, Mickey, a district sales manager in the circulation department at The Inter-Mountain. He attended Marshall University and West Virginia University at Parkersburg. He is a member of Saint Brendan's Catholic Church and has done volunteer work for several local nonprofit groups.
Also in the newsroom, veteran Inter-Mountain staffer Brad Johnson has been promoted. In his new capacity, he will serve as the paper's managing editor, directing its day-to-day operations.
Johnson grew up in Randolph County, attending Elkins High School and West Virginia University. He worked for The Inter-Mountain for eight years, then served five years as the editor of The South Hill Enterprise newspaper in South Hill, Va. He also worked as a reporter and copy desk supervisor for the Beckley Register-Herald. Johnson has won more than 30 awards from the West Virginia and Virginia press associations.
"I am honored to once again be working for The Inter-Mountain, a newspaper that has served the citizens of this region for more than a century," Johnson said. "We have a talented, hard-working staff, and we are committed to bringing our readers the best coverage of local news and sports."
Johnson and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Elkins.
Another veteran Inter-Mountain staffer, Joey Kittle, will move into the sports editor's role. Most recently, he served as the night editor at The Inter-Mountain.
Kittle attended Philip Barbour High School and Davis & Elkins College, where he was sports editor of The Senator. He has worked for Ogden Newspapers since 1992, serving as a sports writer and previously as sports editor. Kittle has won numerous awards from the West Virginia Press Association.
"I'm very excited to take over as sports editor of The Inter-Mountain," Kittle said. "I plan to work with the community in making our sports section one of the best in the state. Providing the best coverage of our area schools and teams is my goal as sports editor, and I look forward to the challenge."
"We are very fortunate to have such talented, professional journalists in Brad and Joey taking on leadership roles at The Inter-Mountain," Burdette said. "Along with our already strong staff, we all will strive to make this newspaper a true and invaluable part of this great community."
Goodwin Henline echoed those sentiments.
"I am delighted to see Brad and Joey moving into new leadership roles in our award-winning newsroom. Their breadth of experience adds so much to the team, and I look for our great coverage to improve through their work and leadership. The same is true with Matt, who continues a longstanding tradition of having a seasoned news veteran in the editor's office," Goodwin Henline said. "I am very proud of all three gentlemen and know how committed they are to the paper and to this community."
She cited the newsroom's open-door policy and how input from the community is welcome.
"This isn't our paper. It belongs to our readers. I know Matt and his team are looking forward to establishing a positive rapport with the community and welcome submissions from the public as well as reader participation," Goodwin Henline said.
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