NC Press Association membership elects Sandra Hurley as next president


For immediate release: 

NC Press Association membership meeting

July 22, 2021

Raleigh, NC 

During a special meeting attended by NC Press Association members on Thursday July 22, 2021 President Hurley and a new slate of officers were ushered in to lead the NCPA in a unanimous vote. The new board of directors’ term, led by Hurley, begins August 1, 2021. 

Sandy Hurley, Regional Publisher for the Mount Airy Media Group, a division of APG-East TN/NC/VA brings 42 years of experience with community newspapers. She has served as publisher for both dailies and weeklies in North Carolina and West Virginia, as well as Director of Revenue and VP of Sales and Marketing for Civitas Media. ‘A stop in at my hometown newspaper in West Jefferson, NC, to buy a subscription for my dad for Christmas, resulted in an opportunity to change my career path from teacher to media and marketing. And I truly couldn’t be happier.’ That happened while at Appalachian State University on a plan to be a kindergarten teacher. ‘Having grown up in a home where the day didn’t start without reading the newspaper, this was an exciting change to make a difference in an industry that can truly matter to the community it serves.’ Sandy and her husband Will, have two sons Holden and Wes. She is an active Rotarian and member of the local Chamber of Commerce, enjoys church and family activities and in her free time, she enjoys reading and helping out at the family store – an antique mall. 

President Hurley replaces Paul Mauney President, APG Media of TN/NC/VA Publisher, The Greeneville Sun who now becomes immediate past president of the NCPA. 

The NCPA executive committee, also voted in by NCPA members, include: Vice President Bill Moss (Hendersonville Lightning);   NC Press Services Secretary/Treasurer Katie Wadington (Gannett);  NCPA Secretary/Treasurer Gene Fowler (Mountain Times).

Also elected to board of directors as new officers:

Morgan Harper,  editor and publisher of The State Port Pilot in Southport. She is a Southport native and returned there in 2009, working as Features Editor until 2019. Morgan also has a background in sales and business management. She received a B.S. in English and History from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro in 1996.

Chris Segal,  news director for the Sun Journal and The Free Press. He has lived in Eastern North Carolina since 2012. He grew up mostly in Southern California but is a native of Gaston County and a third-generation journalist.  He has been recognized in recent years by Editor & Publisher’s Magazine as a 25 Under 35 and a News Media Alliance’s 30 Under 30. Prior to holding numerous editor roles in North Carolina, he was a reporter for the News Herald in Panama City covering business, health and education. Chris also worked for a short stint in television at WPEC in West Palm Beach in the early days of digital, rewriting scripts for the station’s website. He has also worked at the Orange County Register in the pressroom, at the Ventura County Star on a digital team, and spent time at the Poynter Institute as a Summer Fellow. Chris has a bachelor's in journalism from Pepperdine University and a master's in business administration from the University of Mount Olive. He lives in New Bern with his partner Michael and senior rescue dog, Jack.  

Sherry Chisenhall, president and editor of The Charlotte Observer and The Herald of Rock Hill, SC. Before returning to Charlotte in 2016, she was editor and senior VP/news of The Wichita Eagle in Kansas. Previously, she was an editor, reporter and copy editor at The Observer. She’s a native of south-central Illinois and has a B.S. in journalism and political science from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. 

Afrique Kilimanjaro, an award-winning journalist and editor of the Carolina Peacemaker newspaper in Greensboro. The paper, a family-owned operation founded by her parents, is now in its 55th year of publication. Over the years, the Carolina Peacemaker has earned a statewide and national reputation for effectively reporting African American community news. Afrique leads a newspaper staff of reporters, photographers, graphic artists, undergraduate and graduate student interns in covering community news, events, politics, sports, arts and entertainment.

Her leadership in news reporting and editorial writing has garnered both she and the Carolina Peacemaker staff awards for best graphic design from the North Carolina Press Association and awards for Best Editorial Writing, Best News Story, Best Sports Section and Best Use of Photos from the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Afrique is a magna cum laude graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a B.S. in Professional Biology and earned an M.P.H. in Environmental and Occupational Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

She is a proud pet parent of two Bichon frises, 13-year-old Teddy and 2-year-old Moshi.

John Carr, publisher of the Salisbury Post. In addition to serving as the Post’s publisher, Carr also oversees all operations of the Stanly News and Press, Davie County Enterprise-Record and Clemmons Courier. Carr had previously been publisher of the News-Herald and has a history in community newspapers. Before Suffolk, he was publisher of the Georgetown Times in Georgetown, South Carolina. His career has its roots in newspaper advertising.


Scott Champion has over 40 years of experience in the newspaper industry, educated by his family operating competitive shoppers dating back to the mid 1960’s. In his career, Scott Champion has operated both small and large newspaper companies including American Publishing, Liberty Group Publishing, GateHouse Media and OCM. His current portfolio includes MCM Media, MCM Ohio and Champion Media.

The Associated Dailies elect Kyle Stephens (Rocky Mount Telegram) and the Communities Newspapers elect Theresa Schneider (Coastland Times) as president. 

Continuing their terms as officers of the board include:  Keven Zepezauer (Restoration Media);  David Woronoff (The Pilot); and Bill Horner III (Chatham News + Record).

Since 1873 NCPA has supported North Carolina newspapers, readership and advertising. We work to protect the public's right to know through the defense of open government and First Amendment freedoms, and we help maintain the public's access to local, state and federal governments. NC Press Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary, works with clients to provide one-call advertising solutions (online, mobile and print) and press release services in North Carolina and nationwide.

Contact info:

Phil Lucey

Executive Director

North Carolina Press Association