Jul 26 2018
03:08 pm

Jesse Mayshark, Mayor Rogero's communications guy, is leaving the mayor's office. Widely known for his work at the late Metro Pulse, Jesse says: "I have been disheartened by the continued erosion of the local media, which has created serious gaps in information about important issues. I hope to help fill some of those gaps, and I’ll have more to announce about that in a few weeks."

Press release after the break...

Mayor Madeline Rogero today announced that Jesse Fox Mayshark, the City’s Senior Director of Communications and Government Relations, is leaving City government to return to journalism. Eric Vreeland, the current Deputy Director of Communications, will be promoted to fill Mayshark’s position.

Mayshark’s last day with the City will be Friday, Aug. 10.

“Jesse has been an incredible asset to my administration. His strong commitment to transparency, deep command of issues and policy, and his professional and personal ethics have made him a valued and highly-respected colleague among City staff. I will miss him dearly, and wish him success in his new adventure,” Mayor Rogero said. “We are fortunate to have such a talented and knowledgeable successor in Eric. He has done an outstanding job as deputy director, and he will ensure continued high standards as he leads our communication efforts.”

Mayshark joined the City’s Communications team in December 2011, when Mayor Rogero took office. Prior to that, he worked for 20 years as a reporter and editor for publications including Metro Pulse, The New York Times, the Knoxville News Sentinel and No Depression.

“I have been very fortunate to work for Mayor Rogero and alongside so many talented and committed professionals at the City of Knoxville, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had here,” Mayshark said. “It has given me a great appreciation for the complexities of government at all levels. At the same time, I have been disheartened by the continued erosion of the local media, which has created serious gaps in information about important issues. I hope to help fill some of those gaps, and I’ll have more to announce about that in a few weeks.”

Vreeland came to the work for the City in 2013 after 26 years as a reporter and editor at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

“I love that there’s so much energy and so many new ideas throughout Knoxville,” Vreeland said. “It’s exciting to help communicate Mayor Rogero’s vision and be a part of engaging with our residents and business owners on ways the City can partner with them and create new opportunities.”

The Communications Department runs the City of Knoxville’s website ( and works with the Mayor and all City departments to provide information about City services, projects and priorities.

Bill Lyons's picture

Jesse has been an incredible colleague

Jesse has been an incredible colleague. In addition to his other duties I also took the liberty of assigning him the honorary title of "Chief Cultural Officer." There is not a better guy with whom to discuss New Yorker articles and obscure movies. I was not able to keep up with him much on music unless we restricted our universe to the sixties and seventies.

I posted the following on Facebook. "Jesse has done an incredible job with the City and we are going to miss him tremendously. He is not only a terrific writer with a unique ability to get to the heart of an issue. He also has great insight into the forces at work in any political system - the actors, the interests, the cultural and socioeconomic forces, the legal and political lay of the land, and evolving narratives framing the entirety of discussion, I will miss our many-times-daily discussions about Knoxville and beyond. It is not often that one has the privilege of working with one with so many talents. I know he will do incredibly well.

We are very fortunate to have Eric Vreeland move into the pretty darn large void. Eric has great knowledge of the community, is a skilled writer, and a great colleague."

Rachel's picture

I know Jesse will be greatly

I know Jesse will be greatly missed at the City, but I'm looking forward to his new venture.

Mike Cohen's picture

Mayshark leaving

I, too, hate to see Jesse go. But the Mayor is fortunate she has Eric Vreeland to move up. Scoop's a good guy, been a pro in this town for a lot of years.

katieallison's picture

Best of luck to Jesse

I’m sure that Jesse will be a big success in whatever his next venture is. Best of luck to you, Jesse.

j.f.m.'s picture

Thanks, all. It has been a

Thanks, all. It has been a privilege to work for the mayor and Bill and to work with so many other smart and talented people at the city. I agree with Mike that city communications are in great hands with Eric! I'll have more to report on the future-plans front soon. All the best!

Knoxgal's picture

Thank goodness

Thank goodness we have people of Jesse’s caliber who are willing and able to fill the expanding void in local news reporting. I look forward to hearing his plans and wish him the best of luck.

c.w.g. was recently let go from The Scene. Any chance?

michael kaplan's picture

Knoxville needs - and can

Knoxville needs - and can likely support - an alternative print newspaper. Maybe JFM, CWG and other talented journalists can once again join forces to produce something worthwhile and sustainable.

Somebody's picture

I'm not sure the cost of

I'm not sure the cost of print is warranted at this point. People get their information online now. Most people already carry an electronic newspaper box in their pocket, ready to instantly receive content as it is produced. The time, cost and effort required to print and distribute stacks of paper all over town would be better spent on journalism itself. If journalism is one of the pillars of democracy, then we are in peril right now. This is no time for nostalgia over the tactile feel of newsprint.

michael kaplan's picture

You can’t be nostalgic about

You can’t be nostalgic about something that still exists. I read books, magazines, and newspapers daily, along with digital media. Will streaming replace live music, or theater? Will VR replace architecture? I don’t think so.

The Vignellis eloquently talked about print in 1985. (Massimo passed away in 2014.)

“We strongly believe in the permanence of the printed word as a witness to the culture of our time. Words and images interact to create feeling, to expand our perception, to enrich our knowledge. Books are not status objects, but cinematic entities, which are perceived by turning the pages. To design a book or a magazine means to control the emotions of the reader by manipulating the visual content, pacing the images, playing with the white space, choosing the most appropriate typeface and size, and scaling the pictures to obtain the most desirable effect. The choice of paper, inks, printing method, binding technique, and materials plays a vital role in carrying out the desired expression.”

Lella and Massimo Vignelli, 1985

bizgrrl's picture

Nice. I, too, love news in

Nice. I, too, love news in print. I love our local paper here in Blount County, in print on paper.

But, hey, I like brick and mortar as well.

cafkia's picture

Horses still exist and are

Horses still exist and are still ridden for work and pleasure. However, they are not a critical part of our economy or infrastructure.

A lot of people still use wells for water and septic for sewer. But very few with whom I am acquainted that have municipal water and sewer want to trade it for wells and septic.

Newer is not always better and progress is not always good(for everyone). That said, the prominence and importance of the physically printed word will continue to diminish. I like being able to carry an actual library with me and I have enough ebooks stored locally on my devices for that to be true even if the internet is down. Conversely, I would hate with a purple passion to have to return to a time when I had to actually pick up a book, after having discovered its location using a card catalog, and thumb through it to find the specific bit of information I needed ESPECIALLY, knowing that it was merely one of tens of times I would need to do it that day or one of hundreds of times I would need to do it that week.

I do not hate the printed word in any way. But if I had to choose right now, digital or printed, and whichever one I chose was the one I had to use exclusively the rest of my life, print would not even be in the running. YMMV.

jbr's picture

It will be interesting to see

It will be interesting to see how local and area news evolves. Maybe it doesn’t need to be a single entity that does everything. It looks like local/area news is evolving into multiple focused sources that are more specialized. As far as information to the community, potentially good.

Maybe like going from the Walmart/Home Depot/etc news model to separate highly skilled information/news craftsmen with their area of focus

cwg's picture

Sorry y'all

I am not moving back to Knoxville, nor involved with JFM's new project. But like everyone here, I obviously hope it's a rousing success!

danandrews's picture

Yes, it can work, if it is tailored to business.

The problem with most news organizations is they don't tailor to their base. The key to succeeding is to cover businesses that make and spend money.

Property Scope was one of the most interesting and profitable.

The key for a successful brand is exclusivity. If you look at all the brands that have failed, they try to be all things to all people.

danandrews's picture

On a side note...Mayshark would be perfect for Focus

On a side note, If Hunley really wanted to bring the Focus to the next level he would bring in Mayshark or at least make an offer.
Even as a guest writer, I could see this being a awesome fit.

Rachel's picture

"awesome fit" I just choked

"awesome fit"

I just choked on my wine.

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