The Times promotes Casas, Nelson to directors positions

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The Times of Gainesville, Ga., has announced a restructuring of job titles and responsibilities to better define leadership roles as the company continues to expand beyond a traditional newspaper operation.

Shannon Casas, previously managing editor, has been promoted to the position of director of content. She will provide oversight for the entire news-gathering operation on all platforms, including traditional print, digital and web, podcasts and social media.

She will join Leah Nelson, previously promoted from advertising director to director of revenue, in working to transcend the traditional print business model for The Times with a broader multimedia approach to news content and business partnerships.

"We are very fortunate to have talented people like Leah and Shannon to lead us as we make the transition from a traditional newspaper to a more expansive multimedia company. They have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a firm grasp of the challenges inherent in the media business today," Times General Manager Norman Baggs said.

Casas, a native of Gwinnett County, has been at The Times for 12 years, serving in a variety of different newsroom roles including copy editor, assistant features editor and managing the metro news staff.

Casas and her husband Brendan have been foster parents since 2014. They live in northwest Hall County and are members of Gainesville First United Methodist Church.

The Berry College graduate recently completed the 2018 Class of Leadership Hall, a community educational program offered by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. She also was part of SNPA's NEX GEN Class of 2015-16.

"I love this community and sincerely believe a vibrant newspaper helps it thrive," Casas said. "I look forward to continuing the great journalism our team produces and providing that content in both traditional and innovative ways."

Keith Albertson, a veteran of more than 30 years in The Times newsroom, moves into the position of executive editor, where he will continue to handle the newspaper's opinion pages, special projects and the operational side of managing the area's largest news gathering organization.

Nelson's new responsibilities reflect changes happening at media companies across the nation as they move beyond traditional print advertising to include social media marketing, digital advertising, event planning, branding sponsorships and special niche marketing opportunities.

In addition to her experience at The Times, Nelson has worked as major account manager for the newspaper in Jacksonville, Fla., retail advertising manager for the newspaper in St. Augustine, Fla. and retail sales manager for the newspaper in Juneau, Alaska.

In North Georgia she has worked for papers in Athens, Winder and Braselton as well as The Times. Nelson has an MBA in Media Management from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

She and her husband Bill live in Gainesville with their two adult children.

"With the firm, steady guidance of Keith Albertson as executive editor and the new ideas Shannon brings, our newsroom leadership is the strongest it has ever been, which will be reflected in the quality of our content. Similarly, Leah has introduced marketing and advertising opportunities that take advantage of the broad variety of options available outside of traditional print in the modern world of media," Baggs said.

"We are still very proud of our traditional newspaper, and it, too, will be improved with these changes."

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