ROCKINGHAM — Award-winning journalist William R. Toler has been named managing editor of the Richmond Observer.
Toler, who joined the RO staff in late August, replaces Chuck Craven, who will stay on as senior writer.
“It was always our intent to have a full-time managing editor on board, however this was near impossible,” said Kenny Melvin, co-owner of the RO’s parent company KCL Media. “Chuck has done an incredible job during his tenure, not only with his role as managing editor but in bringing on new and interesting contributors. We will always be grateful for his accepting the role and working to make our publication a better one.”
Toler will oversee a multitude of contributors to the news and lifestyles sections of the RO’s website as well as write columns and editorials for the opinion section.
Toler has worked in various capacities in the news business, both television and print, since 2005 and has brought those skills to both the online publication and Live at 5.
During Hurricane Florence and since, Toler has not only provided written content and photos but also produced videos of happenings around Richmond County.
“Since coming on board, Will has proven himself as a team player, bringing important news to our readers and viewers,” said Charlie Melvin, co-owner and vice president of KCL Media. “We are excited to have his talent and skills to help grow our publication.”
Before coming to the RO, Toler spent four years at the Richmond County Daily Journal. The latter two he served as editor of both the Daily Journal and Anson Record. In that time, he earned 17 awards from the North Carolina Press Association and Associated Press.
“I may not be from Richmond County, but it has become home and I enjoy telling the stories of its people,” Toler said.
An amateur guitarist, he has become involved with Richmond County’s music community and often photographs local concerts.
The Craven County native got his start working on the student newspaper at Craven Community College as production manager and managing editor.
In 2005, Toler and two other student editors, Corey Friedman and Eric Voliva, started the Independent Register, publishing nine issues of the alternative newspaper.
The following year, he was hired as a reporter for the start-up weekly The Beaufort Observer. He also worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency before spending six years as a video editor and production assistant for WCTI-TV.
While in television, Toler kept up his writing chops at IndieRegister.com and other online alternative news outlets.