Longtime Homer News reporter Michael Armstrong has been named editor of the newspaper.
The announcement was made this week by Deedie McKenzie, group publisher for Morris Publishing Group, which owns the Homer News.
“Armstrong’s longevity in the community and at the News will serve him well in his new position,” said McKenzie in making the announcement. “He understands the mission of the Homer News is to provide the best possible news coverage of Homer and surrounding Kachemak Bay communities. We’re looking forward to him accomplishing great things.”
Armstrong takes over the duties of editor from Lori Evans, who has served as editor and publisher of the Homer News since 2005 and is stepping down to travel and spend time with family.
McKenzie will oversee the advertising and business operations of the News as publisher.
“Armstrong is the logical choice for editor,” said Evans. “He’s invested in the community and in the Homer News. He’ll provide continuity in the midst of change. I wish him all the best.”
Armstrong began working for the Homer News in 1999 as an editorial assistant and has been a reporter since 2003. During his tenure reporting for the Homer News, he has won numerous Alaska Press Club awards, including the Suzan B. Nightingale Award for best columnist, and three Morris Communications Excellence in Journalism awards.
A 37-year Alaska resident, he grew up in Tampa, Fla., and graduated with a bachelor of arts in humanities from New College of Florida, Sarasota.
He also has a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
He comes from a long line of writers and reporters, including his grandmother, Anne Hughes Jander, who wrote a memoir, his great-grandfather Henry Hughes, a novelist and minister, and a great-great uncle, Hugh Hughes, a managing editor for the Utica Times, New York.
Armstrong began publishing fiction and nonfiction in 1980. His work has appeared in the Anchorage Daily News, We Alaskans, Geo: France, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and many anthologies. His novels include “After the Zap,” “Agviq,” “The Hidden War,” “Bridge Over Hell,” and, most recently, “Truck Stop Earth.”
Before moving to Homer in 1994 with his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, he taught English composition, creative writing and dog mushing at UAA. At the Homer News, Armstrong has covered arts, politics, cop and courts, and general news. His hobbies include hiking, skiing, reading and photography. He also plays in Shamwari, one of Homer’s three African marimba groups.
“I am thrilled and honored to be named editor of the Homer News,” he said. “I look forward to continue telling the stories of my community.”
In addition to the Homer News, Morris Publishing Group’s other holdings in Alaska include the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai, the Juneau Empire, the Capital City Weekly, the Alaska Journal of Commerce, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star and the Equipment Trader. The company has owned the Homer News since 2000.