Photographer of the Year leaves News & Record

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Photo via the NC Press Photographers Association
Photo via the NC Press Photographers Association

Jerry Wolford, who was named the Photographer of the Year (for small markets) by the National Press Photographers Association just a few months ago, has left the building.

In a resignation letter posted to his Facebook yesterday, Wolford said that July 17 will be his last day.

“I’ve enjoyed a fulfilling career at the News & Record, but the newspaper is changing and moving in a direction that does not mesh with my personal and professional goals,” Wolford wrote. “I am looking forward to pursuing other interests in my never-ending quest to tell stories and produce quality work.”

Wolford worked at the paper for 28 years, his letter says.

Almost exactly a month ago, the News & Record laid off Photo Editor Rob Brown — Wolford’s boss — and photographer Scott Hoffman. The Greensboro daily eliminated nine full-time positions in total during that round of cuts.

The paper’s other iconic Jeri — beloved columnist Jeri Rowe — left the News & Record for a gig with High Point University nine months ago. In addition to the layoffs, there have been a few other high-profile departures at the paper recently, including reporter Amanda Lehmert who switched over to RLF Communications in May.

In a Tumblr post, dated July 3, Greensboro-based Perfecta Visuals said Wolford will join the company full-time.

“I could not me more excited to announce that Jerry will be joining me full time at Perfecta Visuals,” the post reads. “I know it is bittersweet for him to leave the world of daily newspapers after almost three decades… We have planned to have Jerry join me from the beginning and I am thrilled that our long term plans have come to fruition.”

A handful of Wolford’s photos are already visible on Perfecta’s website.

In addition to being named the national Photographer of the Year for small markets earlier in 2015, Wolford has won the North Carolina Press Photographers Association Photographer of the Year award five times and is a four-time category winner in the National Press Photographers Association Pictures of the Year contest, among numerous other awards. The Greensboro Historical Museum featured Wolford’s photography two years ago in an exhibit dedicated to his career.

Jeff Gauger, the publisher and editor of the News & Record,
said he didn’t have more information than the resignation note, but added: “Jerry is a hell of a talent. We’ll miss him. I wish him well.”