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VOL. 38 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 19, 2014

Mayor appoints Tennessean's Cass communications advisor

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NASHVILLE – Mayor Karl Dean today announced that he has appointed veteran reporter Michael Cass as communications advisor/speechwriter in his office, where his responsibilities will include preparing and writing speeches. Cass has worked for 19 years as a reporter, including at The Tennessean since 1999 with the last nine years covering Metro government and politics. He will assume the post starting Oct. 20.

“Michael brings a wealth of experience having been a journalist for his entire career,” Mayor Dean said. “He has a deep understanding of Nashville and Metro Government, and I know that will serve the city well as Michael helps our office communicate with the public.”

Janel Lacy, who has served as Communications Director since 2011 and as Mayor Dean’s primary speechwriter for the past seven years, is joining Metro Schools in early October as senior communications and outreach officer. Bonna Johnson, who currently serves as Press Secretary in the Mayor’s Office, will take on the additional role of Communications Director, taking the lead on communications planning.

While working at The Tennessean, Cass has written about everything from Metro policy debates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention and President Barack Obama's visits to Tennessee. He also has written about the lives of Nashville's civil rights heroes. Cass covered Middle Tennessee's higher education scene for six years before moving to the politics beat.

“After covering governments of one kind or another for 19 years -- from school boards to city and county governments and congressional elections -- I'm looking forward to this new experience in public service,” Cass said. “I appreciate Mayor Dean's trust in me to help him as he continues to lead the city over the next year.”

A native of Macon, Ga., Cass previously worked as a reporter for The Macon Telegraph and The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and a master's in mass communications from The University of Georgia. He and his wife, Heather, and their two daughters live in Bellevue and are active members of St. David's Episcopal Church.

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