Leadership transition announced for StarNews, Times-News


This week, the StarNews announced that Publisher Mike Distelhorst will be leaving the company on April 3. Finance director John McElwee is assuming leadership of the StarNews as the local market leader.

McElwee is a 21-year veteran of the newspaper industry, primarily in finance roles. McElwee joined the StarNews and ENC Media groups in a regional role as the finance director in 2015. He worked for newspaper operations in Florence, South Carolina, from 2002 to 2015 and an internal audit team based out of Miami, Florida, from 1999 to 2002. The latter position included travel to California, Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Kansas.

McElwee holds a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and a master’s degree from Widener University in Pennsylvania. In addition, he holds a CPA license. McElwee is currently a team member with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Wilmington program and serves on the Porters Neck Homeowners Finance Committee. He is active in numerous nonprofits throughout Wilmington and the region.

TheTimesNews.com and Times-News publisher Todd Benz will depart the company April 3. Karen Chichester is assuming leadership of the Times-News.

Chichester joined the Burlington company in 2016 as regional finance director. She previously worked for publications in Palestine, Texas, and Oneonta, N.Y.