Publisher Dave Abrams appointed associate editor Casey Conley to the top editorial post effective June 1. He replaces Rich Miller, who last fall announced his intention to retire. Miller will stay with the magazine in a consulting role.
“I’ve been reading Casey’s articles for years now, and I am confident that his past experience as an investigative reporter and writer have prepared him well to move up into the editor’s role,” Abrams said. “As editor of American Tugboat Review and American Ship Review, Casey has experienced what it takes to pull a publication together from beginning to end.
“Rich has done an outstanding job in setting up Casey for success, and I am thrilled Rich will remain with our team on a part-time basis,” Abrams continued.
Conley came to Professional Mariner with a background in newspaper reporting. He started writing freelance articles for the magazine in 2010 and joined the staff full time in 2016 as associate editor. In that role, he oversaw coverage of maritime casualties and edited American Tugboat Review. Last fall, he took over as editor of American Ship Review as well.
“Professional Mariner is unique for its special focus on mariners and maritime safety,” Conley said. “This industry faces new challenges and opportunities ranging from automation to offshore wind to alternative propulsion. We will continue to provide original reporting on these and other topics affecting people who work in this vital sector.”
Miller became editor in May 2016. He led the magazine during a period of rapid change in the maritime and publishing industries. Under his leadership, Professional Mariner improved its website and social media strategies. The magazine pursued aggressive coverage of the El Faro sinking, piracy on the high seas, and the rise of hacking and other cyberthreats. He assigned and edited stories addressing difficult topics, including sexual harassment faced by female mariners.
“My time at Professional Mariner has been extremely rewarding, both as a contributing writer and as editor,” Miller said. “My goal was to follow the lead of previous editors John Gormley and Dom Yanchunas, delivering compelling news coverage to an often overlooked but critical segment of the North American economy: the men and women who work on the water. I am confident the magazine will continue to serve its readers well under Casey’s direction.”
Conley assumes the editor’s post during a time of transition for Professional Mariner. Abrams’ company, Maritime Publishing, acquired Professional Mariner and its sister publication, Ocean Navigator, in March 2021. Maritime Publishing also relaunched the West Coast magazines Pacific Maritime and Fishermen’s News.
Miller’s departure from a full-time role at Professional Mariner coincides with the retirement of longtime Gulf Coast correspondent Brian Gauvin. Gauvin’s excellent reporting and photography documented the lives and work of countless mariners. Many of these stories appeared in the popular “Vessels at Work” section in the center of the magazine. His photos appeared on the cover more than 100 times.
Professional Mariner is hiring for a staff writer to replace Conley, and is recruiting freelance writers to reach all corners of the maritime industry.
Despite these changes, Professional Mariner remains focused on its core mission of reporting news that is relevant, timely and valuable to mariners. We are committed to making this information available in whatever format our readers and subscribers prefer. To that end, the company will soon re-launch the website with new features and a format that is easier to navigate.
“Professional Mariner subscribers have high standards. So do we,” Conley said. “We will continue to produce the best maritime journalism while highlighting the men and women who keep this industry going.” •