The Sumter Item welcomed one new person to its newsroom and announced the promotion of two others this month.
Shelbie Goulding has been promoted from reporter to news and newsletter editor after working with the newsroom in Sumter since 2019. Tim Leible has been promoted from assistant sports editor to sports editor after also joining The Sumter Item in 2019. Also, Richie Weber has joined the newsroom as its video producer and editor.
Goulding moved to Sumter after graduating from Kent State University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in journalism. She started out covering Sumter's breaking news/crime and courts beats as well as Sumter city and county government beats while also writing features and picking up basically anything thrown at her. Not literally. We're not that kind of newsroom.
"Shelbie has excelled with us since she's been in Sumter, learning at a lightning pace and always wanting to grow in her knowledge and skills. This is the next step for her in what I'm sure will continue to be a successful journalism career," said Kayla Green, executive editor.
In part of her role, Goulding will lead and implement The Item's growing email newsletter strategy.
"We have tens of thousands of email addresses we can instantly deliver information to at the press of a button, and we know convenience is value for our readers," Green said. "I'm confident Shelbie will help us continue to evolve what local news means and how it is delivered to our communities that want to remain engaged with accurate, local stories that without us would go untold."
Goulding said the step will be a change of pace but that she is ready for the next step.
"News is an ever-changing industry, and I have plans to implement new strategies that will help The Sumter Item grow and continue serving the community with the readers' best interests in mind," she said.
Tim Leible hails from Missouri, where he covered high school sports professionally for four years, including as the sports editor for The Rolla Daily News, before making the move to Sumter. He received his bachelor's in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Since joining The Item's sports department, he has helped lead its evolution into a multimedia department that aims to tell engaging stories across platforms our readers are already on, from high school football's Media Day on Facebook Live and Athlete of the Week/Year contests, all presented by Hines Furniture, to exclusive podcast interviews on The Blitz, presented by SKF, and the behind-the-scenes, print, digital and video storytelling series The Grind.
"I'm thrilled about this opportunity. I think this will open up some doors for our sports department to continue to move in a fun and interesting direction, and I'm excited about where we can go," Leible said. "Being a part of this community for the last two years has been amazing, and I'm looking forward to playing an even bigger part within it."
Leible is part of The Item's Facebook Accelerator grant program, which is focusing on developing best practices to encourage digital subscriptions.
"Being part of the Accelerator program has taught all of us about how critical it is to focus on the reader's experience with our products, and Tim has been on the front lines of helping to develop our strategy for what our readers want and need and how we deliver that to them," Green said.
New to the team is Richie Weber, a New Jersey-born transplant who came to Sumter in 2020 because of his fiancee, Mia.
Serving as The Item's video and audio producer and editor, Weber will propel Studio Sumter, The Item's digital media and commercial production department, to new heights with experience in podcasting and radio. He will work on Sumter Today, The Item's weekday online news show, and other video, audio and digital services.
"We see the numbers. We know we're not just a newspaper. We know our readers - and viewers - like watching and listening to The Item," Green said. "We're a full-on multimedia company, and I'm excited to see where Richie's strengths will add a unique creative touch to our digital products."
Weber graduated from Millersville University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications, where he spent time as a DJ on WIXQ 91.7 The 'Ville and as a tournament organizer for the Super Smash Brothers Club.
He was an avid member of his high school's music programs and the Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps, which instilled in him a love of the arts and the desire to always tell better stories.
He can usually be found in front of a computer, with one of two cats in his lap and a dog at his feet. His favorite icebreaker is that he's been in a Super Bowl Halftime Show, but you'll have to ask him for that story yourself.
To reach Goulding, Leible or Weber, email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or find more information on them and all The Item's staff at www.theitem.com/contact.
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