Longtime Mountain Xpress employees Brian Postelle and Jon Elliston have announced plans to leave the paper.
Postelle, who began freelancing for Xpress in 2002 and became a staff writer in 2006, will start a new job next week, serving as a public-relations specialist for the city of Asheville. (Staff writer David Forbes took over Postelle's former city-government beat shortly before Postelle put his name in the hat for consideration by the city.)
"I'm excited about expanding my experience working in Asheville and staying connected with the changes the city will undergo in the future," said Postelle. "It's been deeply fulfilling to write for this publication for the past eight years and to be part of an Asheville institution that's so important to many in the community. Only a handful of people across the country do what this group does, putting an amazing amount of energy into this kind of publication. I know that spirit will continue in the future."
Elliston, who began freelancing for Xpress in 2003 and was hired as news editor in 2005, was subsequently named managing editor. He'll depart in mid-April and plans to devote most of his energies to completing a book based on "Cruel Summer: The Attack on Camp Summerlane," a four-part series he wrote for Xpress in 2008 that won a North Carolina Press Association award for investigative reporting.
"This is a very bittersweet move," noted Elliston. "I'm so proud of the work we do at Xpress, and grateful for the myriad ways my role here has helped me engage and understand our community. And I can't imagine a better bunch of colleagues than the ones I've worked with here."
As reported in last week's Xpress, Multimedia Editor Jason Sandford has also left the fold to focus on his popular blog, Ashvegas. As a result, we'll soon be hiring one or more journalists.
"These are major changes in our news staff, which have put us all in high gear," notes Xpress Publisher Jeff Fobes. "We're losing some strong news personnel. But Xpress has come through a number of staff changes over the years — and we've managed to learn and grow from them."