Appen News announces changes, promotions



ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Appen News has announced a few changes to its structure that will improve its commitment to community journalism.

Kelly Brooks was named the company’s associate publisher. Brooks will oversee the production and editorial for five publications, including The Alpharetta-Roswell Revue and News, Johns Creek Herald, Milton Herald, Forsyth Herald and Northside Woman.

Brooks earned a master’s degree in multimedia journalism from the University of Maryland and joined Appen in 2010. She has also worked as a reporter in metro Atlanta and was a publication graduate assistant for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

“I’m delighted to take on this role for Appen,” Brooks said. “I look forward to using my journalism and design experience to improve our existing products and develop exciting new ways to serve and cover this community.”

Aldo Nahed was promoted to managing editor of the company’s weekly print publications and will oversee the online component of the publications at

Nahed, a former Savannah Morning News reporter, brings online experience and has a passion for community journalism. He will continue to oversee the Forsyth Herald and business pages. He joined the company in 2010.

“I’m excited about the future of our operations and I will continue to strive to tell the stories of our communities in a compelling and truthful manner,” Nahed said.

Changes to the newsroom include Jonathan Copsey taking over the reins of the Revue and News, while Hatcher Hurd, the company’s executive editor, will head the community coverage in the Johns Creek Herald.

The company has also announced that Katie VanBrackle was named the Northside Woman editor. She previously shared the role of editor, but will now be overseeing all aspects of that publication. VanBrackle earned her journalism degree from the University of Georgia and said she’s excited about telling stories that matter to women today.

In addition, Appen has offered internships to Phoebe Bumsted, a senior at Alpharetta High School, who also works at her school’s student newspaper. Bumsted will be helping cover North Fulton as well as community events.

Shamita Nagalla, a junior at Johns Creek High School, will also be helping to cover community events as well as government news. She is currently on her school’s debate team.

Publisher Christina Appen, who started the company with her husband, Ray, in 1990, said the publications have engaged and involved the communities they serve and the new changes are a reflection of their continued commitment.

“We have been working hard to put together a team of extremely qualified and enthusiastic individuals who appreciate and understand what good community journalism can contribute to residents,” Christina Appen said.

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