Archive for May, 2015

Chris Stadelman and Jody Jividen return to the pages of the Daily Mail

Friday, May 29, 2015

Back in the mid- to late-90s, there were a couple of guys in the Charleston Daily Mail newsroom who gave us great work, great personality and a great community reputation.

Actually, there was more than a couple. But the guys I’m thinking about in this case were Chris Stadelman and Jody Jividen.

This is a very young Chris Stadelman.

This is a very young Chris Stadelman.

Chris, who was business editor, then city editor, and then managing editor, was whipsmart — as his rapid ascension to the top might attest. He was confident. I don’t think “brash” is too strong a word. “Stubborn” was used this week, and no one seemed to disagree. But also personable — really widely liked.

His last name took on a one-word life of its own — like Prince, Cher or Sting: Stadelman.

Jody walked slow, and he talked slow. He was lanky. He’d lean over your desk and sigh. He’d cackle, not unlike a donkey’s bray, and then wipe his forehead at the absurdity of what had been said.

In print — and in person — he was a master storyteller.

He had a special name, too: Uncle Jody.

Both returned to newsprint this week thanks to a story by another special, veteran reporter, Charlotte Ferrell Smith.

Chris, who is battling cancer, is the honorary chairman of the annual Run for Your Life event to raise awareness of colorectal cancer as well as provide education and funding for screenings. The event is organized by the Charleston Area Medical Center Foundation.

Run for Your Life was established in honor of Jody, who died August 9, 2002, of complications of colorectal cancer.  Jody was 44.

I treasure my time working with Chris and Jody in a newsroom on a regular basis. If you have smart, fun people to work with every day that’s a true gift. These guys continue to be a presence in our newsroom through a fun atmosphere, a tradition of hard work and great journalistic products.

Plus, they actually still are a presence in our newsroom. There’s a black and white staff photo of Chris from when he was a very young reporter, just lying around on a desk. And Jody continues to have a place on our “unofficial business” bulletin board.

As Jody would say, “Peace unto ya.”

Jody Jividen was employee of the week.

Jody Jividen was employee of the week in October 1986.

Follow along: South Charleston mayoral candidates

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Charleston Daily Mail editorial board is meeting today with candidates for South Charleston mayor, the incumbent Frank Mullens and his challenger, Richie Robb, who was the city’s longtime mayor.

I’m the editor, Brad McElhinny, and I’m going to attempt to liveblog below:


Looking for a business writer/columnist

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia is seeking a business writer and columnist. Traditionally, this position has provided coverage of Charleston and West Virginia’s industrial, retail and economic landscape through news and feature stories, as well as a weekly column.

We're getting out of the office. It's pretty exciting.

Crash our  journalism party as the new business  writer.

Charleston is not only where West Virginia’s state government is centered, but is also at the heart of the state’s chemical industry as well as at the crossroads of the coalfields and the natural gas industry. There is no shortage of interesting material to cover.

We continue striving to put out an engaging, interesting newspaper but also aim for a growing digital audience through our website, blogs, apps and social media.

We are looking to fill this position because business editor Jared Hunt is taking a job as communications director with the West Virginia attorney general’s office.

Please email a cover letter, resume and clips to editor Brad McElhinny,


How to put out a paper with no power

Monday, May 11, 2015

Whitney Burdette to opinions; Samuel Speciale to Statehouse

Monday, May 4, 2015

When the time comes, it’s nice to have smart, talented people who can step up to the next level.

We’re moving a couple of the Daily Mail’s staffers to new positions. We’re excited about what they’ll be doing, and they are too.

Whitney Burdette, political reporter, is shifting into the Opinions section. She’ll be an editorial writer and will contribute additional opinion content. She’ll also be a member of our editorial board.

Whitney Burdette

Whitney Burdette

Whitney has a nice background to observe the West Virginia political scene. She was a West Virginia Statehouse reporter both at the Daily Mail and, earlier, at the State Journal. She’s covered 4 regular legislative sessions, plus the special session on redistricting in 2011. She’s also covered seven or eight statewide elections (special primary and general elections following Manchin’s departure to Senate and special primary and general 2011 special gubernatorial election, plus primary and general 2012 and 2014 statewide elections).

That’s plenty of sessions to sit through. Now she gets to contribute opinions about the national, state and local scene.

“I really became interested in politics my senior year of high school, when I took AP government,” Whitney told me. “I had an awesome teacher, Mr. Moynahan, who really fostered my interest. He made learning about politics, which I previously thought was a boring topic, interesting and fun. When I got to Marshall and had to declare a minor, I chose political science. I had several more great teachers at Marshall who taught me a lot about political philosophy, political history and state and federal government process. I relied on that background heavily when covering statehouse for the State Journal and Daily Mail.”

Whitney, 26, is a Riverside High School and Marshall University graduate.

Samuel Speciale, who has been our education reporter, is moving to the Statehouse beat, where he’ll join Joel Ebert.

Samuel Speciale

Samuel Speciale

Sam got a taste of life at the Capitol this past winter when he invested lots of time covering hot issues like charter schools and Common Core legislation.

“I started paying attention to politics during my senior year of high school into my first year of college, which happened to be an election year,” Sam recalled. “While I’ve payed attention to major stories over the years, I didn’t actively follow politics until last year when I started covering local and state education departments for the Daily Mail. I became more interested — in that I wanted to pursue political reporting full time — after writing about several education bills during the past legislative session.”

Sam, 25, is a graduate of Elk Valley Christian School and Marshall University.

Good job and good luck to both.



Umm, sorry about your porcelain bear

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bear with us. This story has a happy ending.

It all started one fateful morning with this tweet from newspaper reader (bless him) Sam Scott. Oh noes!

City editor Lauren McGill, who is often at the helm of the Daily Mail’s Twitter account, responded with sympathy and an action plan.

Sam seemed pleased by the response but had come to terms with the loss of his porcelain bear.

Enter Kmart, with timely Twitter action of its own.

Well done Kmart. Let’s hope Sam gets a new bear AND keeps that newspaper coming to his front porch. Want to be a subscriber like Sam? Go online here or call 304-348-4800. We’ll try to keep our paws off your bear.

Live with the Daily Mail sports staff

Friday, May 1, 2015

Strong work from the Daily Mail sports staff, and it was live without a net.

In case you missed it — or, as they say, ICYMI — sports editor Chuck McGill, West Virginia University beat writer Mike Casazza and Marshall beat writer Derek Redd were live at Recovery Sports Grill on NFL Draft night, interviewing all-star guests.

Our can-do-it-all guy, Marcus Constantino, was there with a whole video setup. Some of the action he captured and sent flying through the Twitter-verse through the hot new app Periscope.

They had a great conversations — and a great time. If you’d like to see their work on a daily basis, be sure to make WVU Sports with Mike Casazza and Marshall Sports with Derek Redd your regular stops on the World Wide Web.

Missed the event but want to know what was said? Luckily, we’ve got video. Here are some of them: