Thursday, November 30, 2023

SELLERS: In Fond Memory of Mark Pellin

'Mark was one of those rare gems you don't come across very often...'

(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) For loyal readers, “Mark Pellin” may have been a ubiquitous byline. Nearly every weekday morning for the past two years, one could expect him to have reliably churned out two or three pieces at a steady overnight clip, and sometimes more.

For us here in the Headline USA office, Pellin, 59—who passed away early Tuesday, following a brief hospitalization—was a lot more.

From very early on we realized what a find we had on our hands: to have secured, during the pandemic—for an on-site job opportunity, no less—a talented writer and editor who shared the same conservative values, a strong foundation in politics, a wonderful work ethic and self-driven initiative. But, above all, Pellin was a genuinely affable man who was so easygoing it made being around him a joy.

A 1990 graduate of Appalachian State University, the proud Mountaineer worked in a variety of local news and marketing positions in the Charlotte region.

At one of those jobs, he met his future wife, Tracy, who said she envied his fast ability to turn around well written copy while she would labor over every word.

By 2002, he had landed his first editing position overseeing a weekly newspaper, the Rhinoceros Times, as it sought to expand its operations from Greensboro into Charlotte, a venture that ultimately lasted six years.

“Mark was one of those rare gems you don’t come across very often,” recalled Rhino Times Editor John Hammer in a 2021 job reference email.

“From a purely financial standpoint we should have closed the Charlotte paper earlier than we did, but Mark was producing such a good paper every week that we thought the financial side would catch up with him,” Hammer added. “If I had a position for him, I would rehire Mark in a second.”

It was during his time there that Pellin encountered politicians like a young Dan Bishop, then a Mecklenburg County commissioner, who would go on to be one of the most prominent conservative voices in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Pellin even began enjoying something of a celebrity status himself while providing commentary for a local radio station, WBT 1110.

He also became acquainted with up-and-coming talk-radio personality Pete Kaliner, who would remain Pellin’s lifelong friend and invite him back on to discuss politics while promoting his work at Headline USA.

Pellin recalled once that, during a random encounter, a stranger who admired his work had recognized his last name and asked, “Are you related to the Mark Pellin?”

He would go on to attempt to launch his own political news website, PunditHouse, before making his way to Headline USA in 2021, where he was an indispensable part of a skilled and growing team eager to take on the conservative media world.

Although he never had the opportunity to witness Headline USA reach its full potential, Pellin believed in its mission and invested all he had into seeing it flourish as the evening editor, which he dubbed the “Midnight Show.”

Several of his articles had recently been featured on the nationally recognized site ZeroHedge, including one in February that received more than 334,000 views.

Pellin was a natural leader who knew that respect is best earned through understanding, and he delivered his feedback to writers with unparalleled patience and empathy. However, he wasn’t afraid to take ownership of his own mistakes and learn from them.

Outside of work, it was clear he was a truly fun person to be around, and also a loving family man who doted on his wife, Tracy; daughter, Olivia; son, Nathaniel; and mother, Barbara. He also is survived by a brother, David, and extended family.

Admirers of his work or those who knew him personally may pay their respects at DignityMemorial.com.

Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.

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