Arts Lifestyle Locally Made

The Laurel of Asheville Begins a New Chapter

Hello, readers and advertisers,

Brett Hulsey, publisher

I’m excited to introduce myself as the new publisher of The Laurel of Asheville. I look forward to getting to know as many of you as I can on a personal basis, and I welcome your ideas and feedback as we look for ways to continue—and build upon—the successful magazine that The Laurel has become through the years. I wish Jerry Johnson, the magazine’s former publisher, all the best in his retirement. His dedication to the magazine and to the arts and culture of our Western North Carolina region impressed me from the outset. I have observed the magazine from afar for many years, and there has always been something special about it—the beautiful cover art highlighting the region’s fine artists, its timely and engaging content, the design of its pages and how well-regarded it is among the business community.

What has always drawn me, personally, to this magazine in addition to those aspects mentioned above, is its appeal—how quickly it gets picked up from racks, how many people not just in the bigger cities but in smaller towns all over WNC walk around with the latest issue tucked under their arms, how many business owners trust their businesses to The Laurel’s beautiful advertising pages. I know that if something is that loved, we can continue to make it work well into the future.

When Jerry approached me about taking over the publishing responsibilities as he approached his retirement, everything I had observed about The Laurel made it an easy decision to say yes. What I didn’t know, however, was how wonderful and committed the staff is to the magazine. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with these dedicated and talented writers, photographers, designers, advertising executives and operations professionals as we go forward. Their loyalty and hard work make The Laurel of Asheville what it is today.

I am no stranger to the regional publishing scene here in WNC. I moved to Asheville in early 2001 to work at the Asheville Citizen-Times. A move took us out of the area a few years later, but my wife and I always dreamed of returning to the mountains to live, work and raise our family here. We did that 11 years ago when we came back to take over Hendersonville Magazine, a publication that dates back to 1982 when it was founded by the late Grace Hay, a retired Washington Post newspaper executive who created the magazine after retiring to the area. A few years later, ownership transitioned to Joanie Fischer, who published Hendersonville Magazine for nearly 30 years before entrusting me with the honor and responsibility to carry the magazine forward. My experience over the last decade brings a spirit of excitement and obligation to make sure great publications like The Laurel of Asheville live on and continue to serve the loyal readers and advertising partners that make it all possible.

Today, Hulsey Media, Inc. publishes a variety of local magazines and resource guides throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. A few of our other titles include WNC Business, Aging Resources and the Asheville Ale Trail. My own experience in the print and digital marketing field goes back more than 25 years, and I am passionate about local media and providing opportunities for all of us to stay informed and engaged. As a company, we are committed to the communities we serve.

In closing, I want to say how excited we are to include The Laurel of Asheville in the Hulsey Media family of local publications. I look forward to meeting many of you as we begin this new chapter in the magazine’s history. Please feel free to reach out at any time with questions, concerns, or thoughts in general.


Brett Hulsey,


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