There’s no way to count the miles that Greg Moore has walked through the Charleston Newspapers building in the more than 20 years he’s worked there.
Moore paces the length of newsroom several times a day talking with reporters, photographers and copy editors to coordinate the people with the day’s events in the Mountain State.
For a little more than a year, Moore performed this task as the managing editor of West Virginia’s largest newspaper.
Starting Sunday, Moore, 48, still will be able to pace the hallways in the building on the corner of Virginia and McFarland streets, but he’ll be doing it under a new title.
On Thursday, incoming Gazette-Mail Publisher Jim Heady announced that Moore will be the next executive editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston Gazette-Mail.
A Morgantown native, Moore said he was excited to take on a new position, but he takes the job while balancing feelings of sadness for Gazette-Mail employees who won’t be part of the newspaper amid a change in ownership.
“This newspaper does great work,” Moore said. “It’s done great work in the more than 20 years that I’ve been here, and I’m determined that it’s going to continue to do great work in the future.
“I’m really excited about it, but at the same time, I’m sad for the people who aren’t here with us anymore.”
The announcement of Moore’s promotion came the day before the owners of the Gazette-Mail were set to close the sale of the newspaper to Huntington-based HD Media.
The owners of the Gazette-Mail filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 30, and HD Media out-bid Wheeling-based Ogden Newspapers to purchase the newspaper on March 8.
The bankruptcy and subsequent sale of the newspaper isn’t the first set of challenges Moore has faced during his tenure at the newspaper.
After a roughly one-year stint working in the San Francisco Bay area through a Morgantown-based consulting company, Moore began working full-time at The Charleston Gazette in 1996.
He was at the newspaper in 2015 when it merged with the Charleston Daily Mail to establish the Gazette-Mail.
“That was obviously difficult for everybody and more so for many, many people than for me,” Moore said. “I got to work with a lot of good people. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of people who have helped me along the way, and I would like to think I’ve gleaned something from working with each of them.”
First and foremost helping Moore were his parents in Morgantown, where Moore said he always walked to school and never had to take the bus.
Moore’s mother began taking classes at West Virginia University while he was a student at South Junior High School and Morgantown High School. She also worked at the university, where Moore said he had access to a world a little different than other kids his age.
“Not many kids had the chance, if they had a high school research paper, to go to WVU’s library and research it there, and I did that,” Moore said.
Of course, any research was made that much easier for Moore, who made a lifelong hobby, and now a career, out of his interest in reading.
When he enrolled at WVU in 1988, Moore majored in English and literature.
“I just loved writing,” Moore said. “I wanted to write. I loved to read when I was younger, and to go to school and focus on reading, writing and books — how cool is that?”
Moore met his wife, Gazette Editorial Page Editor Dawn Miller, at WVU, and he also forged friendships with Ken Ward, the Gazette-Mail’s environment reporter, and Rob Byers, who preceded Moore as the executive editor at the Gazette-Mail.
When HD Media informed Gazette-Mail employees on Monday whether they would be retained under the new ownership, Byers wasn’t retained.
“For me, personally, that’s the hardest part about this,” Moore said. “Rob and I have been friends for nearly 30 years. I’m comfortable filling that position, and I will try to live up to the standards Rob set.”
Those standards include the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for staff writer Eric Eyre, but they also include the day-in and day-out coverage of issues and events throughout West Virginia, Moore said.
Moore said the Pulitzer brought attention to the legacy of good work at the Gazette-Mail, and that legacy will continue under new ownership.
“We’ve been doing good stuff for a long time,” Moore said. “It is crucial to me, personally, and to our readers and to this community that we continue to do that work.”