By Wade Kwon
Alternative newspaper Weld for Birmingham added Nick Patterson, left, to the masthead on its latest issue Thursday. And weldbham.com published his first stories for the site this week.
Both Patterson and publisher Mark Kelly declined to comment on the hire until after the organization’s planned media release sometime this week.
Patterson said by email:
“You will still have to speak to Mark. After you clear it with him, I’ll be glad to talk to you.”
Kelly said in an email:
“We plan to issue a statement within the next several days on Nick’s hiring and a few other recent and upcoming developments.”
In a follow-up email, Kelly wrote:
“[Patterson] does not need my permission to speak to anyone. However, as both the publisher and the person with responsibility for Weld’s external communications, I would be remiss in treating you differently than other media outlets by providing you, or allowing to be provided to you, any exclusive information prior to its planned general release — at least in the case of personnel matters and other internally generated news about our company which rightly should come first from us.
“We are tremendously pleased and excited about Nick’s association with Weld. But, as it is of a piece with several other moves we have implemented, are in the process of implementing, or plan to implement in the near future, it is our intention to address all of this news in a unified manner, in accordance with a timetable we have established, and in a way that is fair to all media outlets involved.”
Patterson spent the last 2 years working as a freelance media professional and communications director at the Birmingham Museum of Art. He worked for 10 years at Birmingham-based lifestyle magazine Southern Living as an associate editor.
Prior to that, he also had extended tenures at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a media relations specialist and the Birmingham Post-Herald as reporter and columnist.
Note: The author worked with Patterson at the Birmingham Post-Herald and at Southern Living. In order to sidestep the inevitable media onslaught about this new hire, we have decided to publish a story before the media release.
Patterson replaces Glenny Brock, who left in May.
In early August, intern Walter Lewellyn was promoted to new media editor, replacing Kyle Whitmire, who left in July to join the Alabama Media Group.
Weld had announced Brock and Whitmire’s departures and Lewellyn’s promotion in print, on its site and via social media, but has, to date, remained relatively low-key about Patterson’s hire.
Tipsters alerted us in August about Patterson taking the editor’s job at Weld, but when asked to comment then, he declined and referred all queries to Kelly.
Patterson isn’t the first Post-Herald reporter to take on such a role. Darin Powell left the daily newspaper in 1999 to become editor of alternative newspaper Birmingham Weekly, working with Brock and Whitmire during his 3 years there.
More stories on the Weld for Birmingham
Wade Kwon is a co-founder of Media of Birmingham and a Birmingham journalist for 25 years.