From Staff Reports
Bryan Stevens, a seasoned journalist and East Tennessee State University adjunct instructor with long family roots in Unicoi County, has been named managing editor of The Erwin Record. Stevens assumed the duties on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from ETSU in 1989 and his master’s degree in English in 1994.
“We are so lucky to have Bryan step in to the role of managing editor at The Erwin Record,” Publisher Lisa Whaley said. “His background, experience and continuing passion for community journalism makes him a perfect fit for Unicoi County.”
The 54-year-old is an award-winning journalist and has served as editor at two Northeast Tennessee newspapers — the weekly Jonesborough Herald & Tribune, where he worked for four years, and the daily Elizabethton Star, where he spent 13 years as lifestyles editor, assistant editor and, finally, as managing editor. In addition, he has written for the Bristol Herald Courier, The Loafer and the Carter County Compass.
Stevens already has ties to the Record, having spent two years as senior staff writer at the newspaper in 2004 and 2005. His younger brother, Mark A. Stevens, was also publisher of the Record from 1997 until 2011.
His newspaper career stretches back to the early 1990s, and he has received multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Tennessee Press Association,7including first-place honors for business, lifestyles, column and editorial writing, as well as TPA’s Edward J. Meeman Award for Excellence in Journalism.
His column on birdwatching, titled Feathered Friends, has been published in newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee since 1995.
During college, he served two semesters as the editor for the East Tennessean, the student-produced college newspaper. In the fall of 2014, he served three months as an interim adviser for the student staff of the East Tennessean. Since August of 2014, Stevens has worked as an adjunct faculty instructor at ETSU, teaching writing and early American literature in the Department of Literature and Language.
He also has long family roots in Unicoi County. He is the son of Peggy Sneyd Stevens, a native of Limestone Cove and a 1965 Unicoi County High School graduate. His father is the late Amos W. Stevens Jr., and his grandparents are the late Amos and Verna Stevens and the late Pleasey and Bertha Sneyd. He has numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in Unicoi County.
“I am excited to be returning to The Erwin Record,” Stevens said. “It’s not only been ‘Unicoi County’s Own Newspaper’ since 1928, but it’s been an important newspaper to my family for so many years. I love telling community stories, and there’s nowhere better to find those stories than in places like Flag Pond, Erwin, Unicoi, and Limestone Cove. “Unicoi County has been home to my family for generations, so it is a great honor to be managing editor of The Erwin Record, which already has the reputation of being one of the best newspapers in Tennessee.”