Gabe Whisnant named executive editor of Greenville News, Gannett SC publications

Gabe Whisnant has been named executive editor of the Greenville News, Spartanburg Herald-Journal and Anderson Independent Mail.

Mark Russell, executive editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and South regional deputy editor for News parent company Gannett, announced the hire Wednesday, March 29.

As executive editor, Whisnant will also direct three Gannett weekly publications in SC’s Lowcountry – Bluffton Today, the Hampton County Guardian and the Jasper County Sun Times.

Gannett’s SC publications comprise 23 journalists who serve the Palmetto State for Gannett, which owns more than 250 daily newspapers across the United States.

“The Greenville News is in great hands with Gabe, who is a passionate, talented journalist who loves telling compelling stories in the Upstate communities,” Russell said. “He has a deep love for local journalism, knows the region well and is a fierce advocate for the team of journalists covering Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson.”

Whisnant is the lead editor for the News’ ongoing coverage of the Murdaugh crime saga.

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Gabe Whisnant, executive editor of Gannett's South Carolina publications.

Gabe Whisnant, executive editor of Gannett’s South Carolina publications.

He has served as news director for Gannett’s SC publications since Sept. 2022 and has been the interim executive editor since Dec. 2022. Prior to that, he was the news director for the Herald-Journal.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this dedicated team of South Carolina journalists. As a kid who grew up reading and learning about journalism through USA Today’s pages, I am truly humbled.” Whisnan said.

“The Greenville News, Spartanburg Herald-Journal and Anderson Independent Mail are historic publications that have served Upstate readers for generations. As times change and newsrooms evolve, our core missions remain the same – inform readers about key topics and issues, hold public officials accountable and strive to make the communities better where we live and work.”

Whisnant is a native of Lattimore, NC, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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He started his career in 2002 as a sports reporter at the Goldsboro News-Argus in eastern NC.

He began his tenure working for publications in Shelby and Gastonia that are now owned by Gannett – first as a sports reporter in Shelby in 2006 then sports editor of the Shelby Star and Gaston Gazette in 2008.

Whisnant was named news director for his hometown Star in 2015. That year, he earned GateHouse Media’s Catalyst for Community Change award for directing the Star’s “Connect, Commit to Change” initiative – an annual event that connected volunteers with agencies that help people in need in Cleveland County, NC.

Whisnant and a team of Shelby reporters were honored with two North Carolina Press Association Awards for their breaking and in-depth stories on Dylann Roof’s June 2015 arrest in Shelby following the tragic Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston.

He was first to report the details of a local florist’s tip to law enforcement that eventually led to Roof’s capture, a story that eventually went viral and was picked up by national media outlets.

Whisnant was promoted within Gannett in 2017 when he was named as the assistant managing editor/digital editor for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and The Herald-Journal won the South Carolina Press Association’s President’s Cup and Website of the Year in 2018. He was among the Herald-Journal and Greenville News journalists honored in 2020 for a Best of Gannett award for South Carolina Election Coverage.

Whisnant succeeds Steve Bruss, who led the News from April 2020 to Sept. 2022.

“At every step in my career I’ve been guided by great leadership and dynamic support from strong teams of journalists,” Whisnant said. “While we may have individual bylines or titles within a newsroom, our collective efforts help us meet the expectations of our readers.”

Gabe Whisnant is shown with his wife, Heather, and their dogs, Duncan and Gilda.

Gabe Whisnant is shown with his wife, Heather, and their dogs, Duncan and Gilda.

He and his wife, Heather, call Spartanburg home and enjoy walking and hiking with their dogs, Duncan and Gilda, in Upstate SC, especially on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville and the Cottonwood Trail in Spartanburg. They also enjoy Spartanburg Philharmonic performances and see local, live music.

Whisnant is an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves, Buffalo Bills and Arsenal Football Club.

Reach Gabe via email at [email protected]. Find him on Twitter @GabeWhisnant.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Gabe Whisnant named executive editor of Gannett SC publications

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