After five years of arts coverage, editing and leadership, Co-Managing Editor and Arts & Entertainment Editor Rebecca Sulock announced this week that she will be leaving Mountain Xpress.
“I’m honored to have worked with such talented staffers and freelancers, and to have helped engage the community with what’s happening here,” Sulock says.
Before she was hired as A&E editor at the local alt-weekly in 2008, Sulock worked in journalism at newspapers including The Charlotte Observer and The Herald in Rock Hill, S.C.
“At a time when most newspapers were downsizing, Rebecca helped dial up Xpress’ A&E coverage, bringing in new, talented team members and freelancers,” says Xpress publisher Jeff Fobes. “In addition to delivering an engaging and surprising mix of arts and entertainment stories every week, she was also in charge of numerous supplements, led our on-the-ground coverage of major local festivals and represented Xpress at community events. We will miss her.”
Co-Managing Editor and News Editor Margaret Williams says she wishes her well. “Rebecca has done a lot with the Arts & Entertainment and food section in her years here at Xpress.”
After being in journalism for nearly a decade, though, Sulock says she’s open to new possibilities — whatever they may be.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what’s next. We shall see. I will use my powers for good, you can be sure,” she says.
Xpress reporter Caitlin Byrd sat down with Sulock to talk about her time at the Asheville alt-weekly.
How did you first get involved at Xpress?
I had actually emailed then-A&E editor Steve Shanafelt about a story idea, and he mentioned that he was leaving Xpress (to move to Spartanburg). At the time, I was working at The Charlotte Observer, but I applied for the position and drove to Asheville to interview. I’d been reading Xpress since I was a teenager, and had been impressed with its tradition of investigative journalism (then-reporter Cecil Bothwell had written some really terrific stories, and Brian Saryznski, among many others) and its quirky entertainment coverage. And I love this community, my beloved and beautiful hometown.
The Observer was offering buyouts the week that Shanafelt emailed to offer me the job. But the email went to my Spam folder. So I called him on Friday, the last day to take the buyout, and asked where they were with the hiring process. He seemed confused, and said, “Didn’t you get my email?”
This position has suited me so well, and I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment at Xpress?
As editor, you’re a hub for this big, crazy network of people. So if you’re doing it right, you’re hopefully helping both the people writing and the people you’re covering, writing about, videoing, shooting, whichever way we share their stories. It’s fun to develop talent in other people, to create opportunities for them and try to help them along their paths. And it’s wonderful to meet so many creative people making music and art and good food and everything else. I’m honored to have worked with such talented staffers and freelancers, and to have helped engage the community with what’s happening here.
How long have you been in journalism, and do you plan to stay in newspapers?
I’ve been in journalism for almost 10 years (nine years and nine months). To be honest, I’m not sure what’s next. We shall see. I will use my powers for good, you can be sure.
Is there anything you would like to say to readers?
I’ve been moved and amazed by what they do, and it has been my honor and pleasure to be in their service for five years.
Caitlin Byrd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-1333, ext. 140.