The college beats on the consolidated News & Observer/Herald-Sun sports staff will be shuffled in December, with longtime UNC beat writer Andrew Carter shifting to the depleted investigations team as sports investigations reporter.
With management apparently wanting to shake up the sports beats as part of The McClatchy Company’s reinvention initiative, two writers with years of experience on their beats will move their focus across the Triangle.
Joe Giglio (left in top photo) will shift beats from N.C. State to North Carolina and Steve Wiseman will go from covering Duke to the Wolfpack beat. Jonathan Alexander, who now covers recruiting and supplements ACC coverage, will take over the Blue Devils beat.
Those changes, which WTVD sports anchor Mark Armstrong first reported on Twitter, are scheduled to be effective Dec. 1, said Steve Ruinsky, the N&O’s sports editor who runs the consolidated sports staff.
Jonas Pope IV, who is in his second school year covering N.C. Central, will take over the recruiting beat. Ruinsky said that details still are being worked out regarding coverage of the Eagles.
Carter (right in top photo), an N.C. State graduate, took over the UNC beat in November 2011 after UNC alum Robbi Pickeral Evans — now UNC’s associate athletic director for strategic communications — left to cover Carolina basketball for ESPN.com in October 2011. Pickeral replaced Barry Svrluga when he left in 2003 for The Washington Post, where he is now a sports columnist.
Carter won several Associated Press Sports Editors awards on the UNC beat and should be a candidate for another one for his March series on Woody Durham’s battle with aphasia.
It appeared last summer that Carter was going to leave the UNC beat before football season to do writing projects and higher-end enterprise stories in the sports department. Those plans changed — possibly because of the reinvention initiative implementation — and Carter, who came to The N&O from The Orlando Sentinel, instead remained on the UNC beat.
While that would have been under the sports umbrella, his December shift will move him off of the sports staff, and he is expected to report to Dan Barkin, the N&O’s managing editor, although that isn’t set. Carter’s focus is still expected to be sports.
The changes will reduce the number of writers on the consolidated sports staff, as of Dec. 1, from eight to seven.
The investigations team has been depleted of late. In August, it lost reporter Mandy Locke. Then, in September, reporter Joseph Neff and the team’s editor Steve Riley departed. Dan Kane and database editor David Raynor are the only remaining members of the team pending the addition of Carter and/or other hires.
Giglio, an N.C. State alum, joined The N&O in December 1996 before he graduated from NCSU a few months later. The moves mean that none of the Triangle beat writers will cover their alma maters and that the UNC beat writer will continue to be an N.C. State graduate.
Giglio, who lives in Garner, began covering Wolfpack men’s basketball in 2009 and NCSU football in 2011 and has also covered UNC football. He was the first to report the hiring of N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren in 2012, and was involved in The N&O’s first reporting of the football scandal at UNC.
Giglio, whose wife is Assistant Sports Editor Jessaca Giglio, got a fair amount of attention when he asked former UNC football coach Butch Davis about sports agent Christopher Hawkins’ role with the players. During the questioning, when the answers from Davis were a bit vague, Joe Giglio made a “Sam I am” Green Eggs and Ham reference that upset some readers.
John Drescher, the N&O’s executive editor, defended him and wrote about Giglio’s persistence. Giglio also has had confrontations with a couple of former Pack coaches, Chuck Amato and Mark Gottfried, who didn’t like his questions.
Giglio’s “yellow pad” charts on Twitter, as he mentioned Sunday, will follow him in his coverage of the Tar Heels. One Twitter user, Scott Piner, played off the yellow pad (above) with an assessment of the likely reaction of Wolfpack fans to his impending move.
Wiseman (left), who lives in Cary, still has the title of The Herald-Sun sports editor even though Ruinsky runs the consolidated staff and Wiseman has no editing duties. Wiseman, an Illinois State graduate, has covered Duke sports since taking that beat for The Herald-Sun in August 2010. He was the first to report in September 2012 about Duke’s plans for major upgrades in football and basketball facilities.
It’s been a quick ascension for Alexander (right), who will go from community newspaper reporter to Duke beat writer in a little more than a year.
He reported for two of the N&O’s community newspapers — the Eastern Wake News and the Garner-Cleveland Record — but moved to full-time sports department duties in November when the newspaper laid off three of its community newspaper sports editors. Previously, he wrote some for the sports department.
Alexander, an N.C. Central graduate, joined The N&O in August 2013, initially as a part-time writer then became full time.
Another former community-news reporter, Jessika Morgan, became The N&O’s Duke beat writer during the 2016 football season. She went directly from being sports editor of The Midtown Raleigh News and the North Raleigh News to the Duke beat, separated only by maternity leave. Morgan was supplanted by Wiseman after McClatchy purchased The Herald-Sun. She quit in June.
N&O hires social media editor
Taylor Shaw will join The N&O on Oct. 23 as the newspaper’s social media and analytics editor.
A William Peace University graduate who grew up in Durham, she will come to The N&O from television stations KSHB and KMCI in Kansas City, where she has been the digital executive producer for nearly two years.
She will supervise Saturday digital operations and plan strategies to promote content on digital and social-media platforms while monitoring analytics. Shaw will train and coach the staff and create coverage ideas, digital stories and projects.
North State Journal publisher adds another publication
In a time when print newspapers are struggling, Neal Robbins started the statewide North State Journal in February 2016. Now he has started a second print newspaper.
Weekly publication began last week for the Stanly County Journal. Like NSJ, it will be published every Wednesday.
New writers are being hired for that publication, but Robbins said that NSJ will serve as “a de facto state newswire” for the Stanly County paper. Last Wednesday’s newspaper also included sports stories from NSJ writers.
“I am very excited to work on a local concept applying all of the things we’ve learned in the last year and a half with the North State Journal,” Robbins said via text.
There were 1,000 copies printed of the inaugural edition, Robbins said, and there were 250 presold subscriptions.
Already in the county is the Stanly News & Press out of Albemarle, which publishes Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. It first published under that name in 1929.