Independent publisher accepts new position

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2013

 Summerville Communications President and Publisher Ellen Priest has been named the new President and Publisher of Aiken Communications in Aiken, SC.
Evening Post Industries announced the news on Monday.
Aiken Communications includes the daily newspaper the Aiken Standard, the weekly North Augusta Star, the cable TV station ASTV, and a digital and marketing division, TootSuite.
Priest succeeded Bill Collins as the publisher of Summerville Communications – which includes the Summerville Journal Scene, the Berkeley Independent and The Gazette – in 2007. She was previously the business manager at the Aiken Standard for 19 years.
“I have been blessed to lead our wonderful team here at Summerville Communications for the past six years,” Priest said. “This is not just a job that I come to each day, it is like a family to me and we work as a highly effective team, so leaving here was not an easy decision. However, my husband still lives in Aiken and I am very excited at living together full time again.”
Priest is a native of Middletown, CT. She has been married to Dr. Jeff Priest, vice-chancellor at USC Aiken, for 32 years. They have two children, Greg, the band director at Aiken Middle School, and Jayme Hightower, Finance Supervisor at Pegasus Steel in Goose Creek. Jayme and her husband Justin Hightower reside in Berkeley County.
“I love the Lowcountry and all of the great organizations I have been a part of, and the wonderful friends I have made while living here, so leaving here will be difficult but I am excited at the opportunity,” Priest said.
Priest is a graduate of USC Aiken. She serves as vice president of the Summerville Rotary Club, secretary of the Summerville Family YMCA, treasurer of the S.C. Press Association, Vice Chair of Communications and Marketing for the Greater Summerville Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, and treasurer of the Mayor's Committee on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities. She also serves on the Community Advisory Boards for Alcoa and Summerville Medical Center.
She was Summerville Rotarian of the Year for 2011-2012 and was named Publisher of the Year for EPI in 2011.
She will assume her new position at the first of the year but will be working closely with current Aiken Publisher Scott Hunter over the next three months. Her successor has not yet been announced.

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