by Fiona Morgan
Neil Offen got a promotion for Christmas, though not one he wanted, it seems.
As of today, Offen is the new metro editor of the Durham Herald-Sun. Offen, who lives in Carrboro, has worked at The Chapel Hill Herald, the Durham daily's Orange County counterpart, for more than eight years and has been its editor for more than six. Now former H-S metro editor Dan Way has moved into Offen's old position in Chapel Hill.
Offen lamented the move in an email to Chapel Hill contacts on Dec. 30.
"It’s not a position I necessarily asked for or wanted; it was thrust upon me," he wrote.
It's unclear what the move signals for The H-S, which has suffered steep circulation declines in recent years in both Durham and Orange. Sources inside the paper say Way has never been liked by reporters, who have seen their workloads increase as their ranks have decreased, both through layoffs and attrition.
Offen's love of Chapel Hill and Carrboro was evident in his on-air interviews with local AM news radio station WCHL each weekday during the 5 p.m. hour.
"Neil's been great to work with," says WCHL Station Manager Christy Dixon. "He’s been on with us since we brought the station back to Chapel Hill [in 2002], so we wish him the best."
Way has not been booked in his place. Dixon says the station has a new news director who is considering whether to extend the invitation to competing print media outlet The Carrboro Citizen.