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Charlie’s the new art director, with a wide skill set and deep knowledge of print as she worked at the High Point University print shop before coming to us. And she’s young, by which I mean younger than me — a cohort that literally grows every day.

On her first day I asked if she knew Jeri Rowe, and of course she did: Jeri is Nido Qubein’s personal biographer, among other duties at HPU, and also he makes it a point to know everybody wherever he goes.

I told her Jeri was a mentor, and had been truly helpful in my career. She was surprised.

“I didn’t know Jeri worked at the News & Record,” she said.

And then I was surprised. Because I know for a fact there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the Triad who think Jeri still works at the N&R, though he’s been at HPU since 2014.

But how could she know that Jeri worked cops and courts before helming Triad Style, the newspaper’s weekly A&E tabloid, before transitioning into a metro columnist and then, for… reasons, left the paper altogether? She was in grade school when I came on at Triad Style, and not much older when it became GoTriad, a weaker version than the original that paid slightly better.

I was the nightlife columnist, just past 30 years in age, when almost everyone was older than me.

The weekly print market was saturated then, with Ogi Overman’s ESP magazine that eventually became folded into the High Point Enterprise, and the Rhinoceros Times, which had just come off the heyday of the Clinton years and were still using the tagline, “Making conservatism cool.” Overman went on to start the Greater Greensboro Observer around that time, and a couple years later I got hired to start a true altweekly in the Triad. Yes Weekly was the first independent weekly in this market since the N&R bought the Triad version of the Spectator — that free weekly printed both Triad and Triangle editions — and turned it into Triad Style in the mid-1980s.

The Triangle version of the Spectator, incidentally, was bought and absorbed by the Independent Weekly, since rebranded as INDY Week. ESP shut down in 2004; the Observer lasted a year or two past that. The Rhino Times went out of business in 2013, was resurrected by Greensboro Developer Roy Carroll and transformed into a web-only opinion outlet in 2018. Nobody under 40 has ever heard of it.

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