Thomas returns as editor, Pearcey leaves for BOE

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2007

Veteran newsman and Greenville native Jay Thomas has re-joined Greenville Newspapers LLC and assumes immediately the role of group managing editor for its four newspapers and shopping guides.

He replaces Kevin Pearcey, managing editor of the group for the past two years. Pearcey has accepted a technology-publications position with the Butler County School System.

&#8220We couldn't be more pleased to have Jay come back,” Ed Darling, president and publisher of Greenville Newspapers LLC, said. &#8220He is a hometown man who has done well, a true professional who understands our role in community journalism and a terrific addition to our staff because of his unique background and knowledge of our area.

&#8220That he will guide our news efforts to the highest possible level is a given. We know he'll become actively involved in our area and make valuable contributions to the newspapers and the communities.”

Thomas, 37, worked as bureau chief for Neighbor Newspapers, a group of six south Atlanta newspapers, and director of publications at Georgia Tech, overseeing the school's textbook division after leaving Greenville in 2005.

He was group managing editor for two years at The Advocate, guiding the paper to a number of Alabama Press Association awards. A Troy University graduate, he launched his journalism career at The Advocate, working as a reporter in 1995-97.

He has also been the day metro editor for the Montgomery Advertiser, managing editor of the Cordele (Ga.) Dispatch, news editor of the Americus (Ga.) Times-Recorder and news editor of the Evergreen Courant.

&#8220I'm very pleased with the opportunity to return to Greenville once more as editor of The Advocate and its sister papers,” Thomas said. &#8220The people who work here are dedicated to providing the best community newspaper each week to the readers and that is important to me. I never dreamed when I left in 2005 that I would get the opportunity to come back, but it happened. I'm grateful for the trust that the publisher has put in me and I hope that everyone will contact me with their thoughts and suggestions.”

In his previous role at The Advocate, Thomas was a member of the Greenville Jaycees, Lions Club, Boys and Girls Club board of directors, Main Street Greenville, the Butler County United Fund and the Greenville High School Alumni Association.

Pearcey begins his new job August 1.

Also a Greenville native and Troy University graduate, he served as group managing editor following Thomas. He started his newspaper career as a sports writer with the Troy Messenger and later became its sports editor. He left for a publications editor position in the non-profit sector for two years, then returned to the editing role for his hometown paper.

&#8220Kevin has been a caring and thoughtful editor,” Darling said. &#8220While we are disappointed he is leaving, we know his future path will be one of success. We look forward to our continued opportunities to work with him in his new position and wish him nothing but the best.”

The Advocate, largely due to his efforts, was recently named the state's best small town weekly newspaper by the Alabama Press Association.