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Queen City Nerve Announces Three New Hires

A thank you to those who made it possible

Charlotte city skyline from North Tryon street
We are announcing three new hires as we approach our 5th anniversary. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

As we approach our 5-year anniversary here at Queen City Nerve, we are experiencing some exciting changes to follow the growth we’ve seen over the past year or so. 

Early in August, our digital editor Karie Simmons resigned her position after two great years with our team. We’ll miss Karie a bunch here in the newsroom and wish her the best in all her future endeavors, but now as we look ahead to our next five years, we’ve got some new hires to announce. 

Two former interns who have done great work for us in the past two years are joining Queen City Nerve as staff members, with Annie Keough coming on as our new staff writer covering local schools and county government and Rayne Antrim jumping into our new digital manager position, handling social media, our website, and other online content. 

Thirdly, after a year and a half of publisher Justin LaFrancois grinding it out as our designer (and doing a great job of it for someone with no training whatsoever), we’re bringing back a professional with the hiring of Aiden Siobhan as art director. 

We are excited to welcome these three to our team, and grateful to our paying members and advertising clients who have made this period of growth possible. 

“As an advertiser- and reader-funded media outlet in Charlotte, we couldn’t be more grateful for the financial support we have received from both our clients and our most loyal readers,” wrote LaFrancois. “The money raised from our membership program has always been earmarked for our newsroom and we show that beyond any doubt with the growth of our editorial team this year.

“I am more than proud to continue our mission of building an alternative newsroom that highlights the greatest cultural aspects of Charlotte — the ones most often overlooked. Our enterprise news reporting defines the issues most important to us and inspires and educates like-minded and civically engaged Charlotteans.

“With these new additions, we plan to take that mission forward and build out more editorial coverage across all areas of Charlotte that truly matter the most.” 

Here are some more details about our new team members. 

Annie Keough is a May 2023 UNC Charlotte graduate who majored in Communications and minored in Journalism. 

“I got into journalism thanks to the support and encouragement of my journalism and writing professors throughout my college career,” she wrote. “In my time at Queen City Nerve, I hope to report on those that would not otherwise have a platform and become their voice.” 

Annie has done great reporting on the LGBTQ community during her time as an intern and then paid contributor, and will continue to report on those and other issues on top of her regular county government and education reporting. 

Annie’s work to check out: 

Rayne Antrim graduated from UNC Charlotte in December 2022, earning a degree in Communications with a concentration in Mass Media and a minor in Journalism. 

“I hope to give people power in their voices and highlight individuals, especially POC and the LGBTQ community, who tend to be overlooked,” she wrote. “I believe everyone deserves a chance to be seen and heard. With Queen City Nerve, I hope to create a difference by highlighting the community’s most vulnerable and having important conversations.”

Rayne Antrim sits on a bench in front of some rose bushes
Rayne Antrim (Photo by Jordan Jones)

In Rayne’s role as digital manager, she will continue to do reporting as she has done for us since August 2022. Here’s some of her past work to check out: 

Aiden Siobhan graduated from UNC School of the Arts in 2023 with a BFA in Filmmaking, specializing in Screenwriting and Animation. Aiden got their start in journalism as a writer for MovieWeb before joining the team at Triad City Beat as their art director. 

Aiden Siobhan wearing glasses and a scarf while taking a selfie
Aiden Siobhan, Queen City Nerve’s new art director. (Photo courtesy of Aiden Siobhan)

Their passion for design has led them to work in many industries, including film, publishing, performing arts, and most recently as art director at Queen City Nerve. When they’re not designing, they enjoy reading genre fiction, going on road trips with their fiance, and making documentary films.

To check out some of Aiden’s most recent work, flip through our latest issue or check out their work with our friends at Triad City Beat

“We couldn’t be in the position we are to bring these new hires on today without support from our advertising clients,” added LaFrancois. “I would like to take this space to thank them collectively;

“Blumenthal Performing Arts; Charlotte Symphony; Caroline Calouche & Co.; Birdsong Brewing Co.; Stellar Dental; Providence Eye & Laser Specialists; Mecklenburg County; League of Women Voters of Charlotte-Mecklenburg; Starlight on 22nd; UNC College of Arts + Architecture; Levine Museum of the New South; Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture; Arts & Science Council; High Tide Hospitality; Charlotte Pride; NoDa Company Store; Camp Bow Wow; Independent Picture House; Tosco Music; Petty Thieves Brewing Co.; Divine Barrel Brewing; Charlotte SHOUT!; Eat, Drink, Relax Events; JamBox; Crowntown Cannabis; Arts+; Davidson College Theatre; The Bag Lady; Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe; Hendersonville Theatre; Charlotte Ballet; Queen’s Feast – Charlotte Restaurant Week; Resident Culture Brewing Company; One Voice Chorus of Charlotte; Charlotte Museum of History; Cine Casual Film Series; and so, so, so many more amazing businesses, collectives and organizations in Charlotte – Thank you!”

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