Debbie Abels, president and publisher of The Herald since 2007, will be leaving the company before year’s end in a move intended to streamline administrative costs while preserving the newspaper’s local newsgathering and advertising resources. Her last day at The Herald will be Dec. 11.
Abels has overseen The Herald, heraldonline.com and three community publications – Fort Mill Times, Lake Wylie Pilot, and the Enquirer-Herald in York and Clover. She previously worked at The Charlotte Observer for several years in human resources, circulation and advertising. All are owned by The McClatchy Co.
Abels was praised for her efforts to bring the former newspaper competitors into a more synergistic relationship – sharing resources and consolidating parts of the operation to preserve editorial and advertising resources. The newsroom also won several journalism awards under her leadership.
Abels serves on the boards of several civic organizations, such as the Arts Council of York County, Rotary Club of Rock Hill, and public radio station WDAV. She has held board president roles at United Way of York County, Rotary Club of Rock Hill, WDAV, Community School of the Arts, and International House.
“It has been a wonderful eight years with The Herald and our weekly newspapers,” Abels said Monday, shortly after announcing her departure to company employees. “I have been blessed in working with such an outstanding team of people who produce great work every day. That will not change. Our newsrooms and advertising division will continue to be locally-staffed and locally-focused.
“As we have with other functions that made sense to combine with our sister McClatchy newspapers, though, administration will now be regionalized. It is time for me to move on, and I do that knowing that our readers and customers will remain in good and highly-capable hands.”