After an extensive search, Out & About Newspaper has chosen a new managing editor and creative director to begin work in April.

Veteran journalist Joe Morris has been selected to fill the position, which will be vacated at the end of March by current Managing Editor Joey Leslie. Morris, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, has been in journalism for 25 years.

Morris has worked as a writer and editor for several local publications, including O&AN and the Nashville Business Journal. Prior to Nashville, he worked in Atlanta and California, where he wrote for such GLBT publications as San Diego’s Gay & Lesbian Times and Frontiers newsmagazine in Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the Stonewall Democratic Club’s Media Award.

O&AN Publisher Jerry Jones said there were several high-caliber candidates interviewed for the position. He said Morris' strong editorial background and longtime dedication to O&AN made him an ideal candidate for the job.

"We are thrilled that Joe will be leading the editorial side of the newsroom," Jones said. "He has many years of experience in GLBT media and is already well-known in Nashville's gay community, so we expect the transition to be seamless."

Another staff change will also occur on the advertising side of the business. John Lasiter has been promoted to advertising sales manager and will take the helm on April 1.

A native of Modesto, Cali., Lasiter moved to Nashville in 2003 and pursued acting, eventually joining Nashville Stages with now-partner Kaine Riggan in 2005. In 2009, the couple moved to Los Angeles to continue acting and Lasiter landed parts on shows including "How I Met Your Mother," "Dexter," and "Big Love." After about a year, he followed his heart back to Nashville and said he's glad to be home.

Lasiter joined the O&AN sales staff in late February and quickly began bringing in new clients, Jones said. He will be replacing Kim Council who worked as a consultant for O&AN since January.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with O&AN so far and have made some wonderful new business relationships already," Lasiter said. "I look forward to continuing to serve local GLBT-owned and friendly businesses across the state by helping them grow their business through advertising in O&AN."

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