News Staff Sees Changes at The Pilot
The Pilot's news staff has undergone some significant changes.
John Krahnert III, who has been a staff writer for the past two years, takes over as sports editor starting with Friday's edition. He replaces Patrick Love, who is moving back to his home state of Virginia.
Hannah Sharpe, who has served as a newsroom intern for more than a year, is now a full-time staff writer and will continue to handle some photography duties as well.
The newsroom has also added a new face. Mitchell McKell has joined the staff as a page designer and graphics specialist. He brings a special background in information graphics, maps, illustrations and cartoons.
The changes have also resulted in a slight shuffling of beat assignments.
Krahnert grew up in Pinehurst and is a 2004 graduate of The O'Neal School. He graduated from Boston College in 2008 and joined The Pilot as a newsroom intern before becoming a staff writer. He has covered numerous beats - Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, business, education, politics and general assignment stories.
Krahnert is a lifelong sports fan.
"Taking over as The Pilot's sports editor is a dream job for me," he said. "Patrick Love has done a great job and has set the bar high. I'd like to keep pushing it higher. I'm really looking forward to working with our outstanding sports staff to highlight the accomplishments of Moore County's athletes. It's going to be a lot of fun.
"As sports editor, I want to be a visible presence in the community. I'm going to do my best to get out and meet as many people as I can. My door is always open, and I hope our readers will not hesitate to share their questions, comments and concerns about our coverage. This isn't my sports section. It's theirs, and I want them to feel a part of it." Krahnert said he also wants to expand the sports presence on thepilot.com and make it "a one-stop shop" for all local sports.
Editor Steve Bouser said he felt good about all these changes - except Love's departure.
"Patrick has done a super job for The Pilot and has taken our sports coverage to a new level," he said. "We hate to see him go, but we wish him and his family well.
"He leaves some big shoes to fill, but we expect great things from John in his new job. He's a natural in this business and has found his calling in it, as he wrote in a recent column. Besides being one of the best reporters and fact-diggers The Pilot has ever had, he is a regular sports fanatic and will bring a lot of energy to his new job."
Bouser also had high praise for Sharpe.
"Hannah concentrated in photojournalism at Chapel Hill," he said, "and she has a special gift for bringing an extra visual dimension to whatever she shoots. But she has shown herself remarkably versatile in her lengthy stint as an intern, cheerfully tacking any chore assigned to her. She has turned into an excellent reporter, and readers will be seeing a lot more of her bylines on important news stories."
Sharpe, who grew up in Summerfield, N.C., graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism and political science. As an intern, she has covered Aberdeen, written feature stories and handled much of the photography for news and features. She also does photography for PineStraw magazine.
As a full-time staff writer, she will cover Southern Pines, Whispering Pines and the field of education - both public and private schools and Sandhills Community College.
Senior Writer Tom Embrey, who previously covered Southern Pines and Whispering Pines, along with law enforcement, fire and rescue, has taken over the Pinehurst and Aberdeen beats. He has also taken on more responsibility in working with Online Editor Hunter Chase in keeping The Pilot's website updated.
Embrey has been with The Pilot for more than three years and has filled a variety of roles, including a stint as sports editor. He came to The Pilot from McKinney, Texas, where he served as the managing editor for The McKinney Courier-Gazette, a six-day daily newspaper. He has also worked for newspapers in Kentucky and Cincinnati. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University.
"Tom is a man of many talents, always ready to tackle whatever needs to be done," Bouser said. "We know he will do his usual workmanlike job in his newly redefined areas of news coverage and in his increased website involvement."
Bouser said The Pilot considers itself especially lucky to have landed a designer of McKell's caliber.
"Mitch is a heck of a guy," he said. "As a Marine, he survived the Beirut barracks bombing of 1983, about which I'm sure we'll be writing more at some point.
"As a gifted newspaper designer, he has also had to endure a couple of challenging life changes brought about by staff reductions at metro dailies.
"He brings some particular artistic gifts and areas of graphic expertise that The Pilot can make great use of at this point in its development. We're glad he has found a professional home with us."
McKell is a native of Louisville, Ky., and a Marine Corps veteran. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He and his wife, Lindsay, still own a home in Concord. They have three children: twins Lane and Piper, 14; Paige, 20.
McKell was introduced to the world of newspapers in 1993 as a news artist at The Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald Journal, a daily owned by The New York Times Co.
Four years later, he went to work for a sister paper in Ocala, Fla., as the graphics editor. From there, he had a one-year stint with The Charlotte Observer before accepting a position in the news graphics department at The Greenville-News, a Gannett Co. daily with 100,000 circulation in South Carolina.
After a two-year layoff, McKell said he is "thankful to be plying the trade once again with The Pilot."
Contact David Sinclair at email@example.com.
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