CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia MetroNews listeners and readers have gotten to know Allan Taylor over the past five years as an active, insightful reporter and columnist on the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Now Taylor’s role will be changing a bit. He will be the new editor of Morgantown’s Dominion Post newspaper.
The change takes place immediately, although Taylor will continue some of his sports coverage duties for both MetroNews and now for the Dominion Post.
“Editor for the paper has a lot of news and staffing responsibilities, but I’m still going to be leading the WVU sports coverage for that paper because we’re essentially moving two groups together,” said Taylor, 47, of Morgantown.
Taylor will remain as a columnist, while the regular coverage duties will move to beat writers for both football and basketball.
“Our WVU stuff is going to transcend,” Taylor said. “It’s going to be on MetroNews and the Dominion Post.”
The Dominion Post and MetroNews, which is part of West Virginia Radio Corporation, are each part of Greer Industries and owned by brothers John and David Raese.
The newspaper and the radio news network had not worked cooperatively before but the old walls are coming down as digital choices mean more mixing of formats.
“Allan probably is the perfect person to oversee the transition of the newspaper into the digital age, with his varied background. It’s nice to know Allan has a solid newspaper and writing experience but working with MetroNews he has knowledge of the new media, as well,” said David Raese, publisher of the Dominion Post.
“Allan understands the duty of newspapers and protection of the First Amendment. We’re excited about Allan joining the paper what he can bring to the overall product.”
As editor, Taylor will take over duties most recently held by Geri Ferrara, who was editor until her retirement in 2016.
“Managing editor Pam Queen will still be vital to the paper, will still be as engaged as ever,” Taylor said. “They’ve been operating without that editor position filled since Geri left.”
Taylor said the company remains committed to a daily print edition and also hopes to rev up the product.
“The main thing people worry about is how long will the print product remain. But as of now there’s a pretty hardy commitment to remain a hardy, 7-day-a-week, home delivery paper. The handheld print product isn’t going away. It’s a 100 percent commitment to actually growing circulation,” Taylor said.
“I’m sure we’ll have a print redesign sometime more quickly. We’re committed to being hyperlocal but also through our MetroNews resources bringing better statewide resources to Morgantown.”
Taylor is uniquely positioned to bridge the Dominion Post and MetroNews, said Dale Miller, president and chief executive officer of West Virginia Radio Corporation.
“I think Allan Taylor is an exceptional talent and an extraordinarily good writer. He brings to the Dominion Post years of excellence in broadcast journalism and print journalism,” Miller said.
“We’re not losing him at MetroNews; he’ll be around, but as we bring the Dominion Post and MetroNews together this move made a lot of sense.”
Taylor started with MetroNews in 2012, just weeks before West Virginia University’s athletic teams made their transition to the Big 12 Conference.
“It all synced up, so I never have trouble remembering what year it was,” he said.
He’d spent about 20 years in newspapers in Chattanooga, Huntsville and Birmingham. Each was transitioning to the digital age, with mixed success.
Taylor jumped in with a company that had traditionally been radio, but that was pursuing new ways of reporting news and telling stories. Taylor is a writer but also produces live blogs, quick video spots and podcasts.
As managing editor of WVMetroNews.com, Taylor also played major roles in shaping the news organization’s web presence.
“So many places were already contracting and cutting jobs and here MetroNews was essentially creating a beat writer and columnist job at a Power 5 program, so it was enticing,” Taylor said.
“Here was a spot where you could step in day one and essentially do all that without having to drag people into it unwillingly.”
Now he’s lined up for another challenge.