NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Secretary of State Tre Hargett has named television reporter Adam Ghassemi as his new spokesman, completing a process in which all three constitutional officers have appointed their own communications director instead of using a joint one.
Ghassemi, who most recently worked for WTVF in Nashville, succeeds Blake Fontenay, who was originally hired to be a spokesman for Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard.
Wilson has since hired former WZTV-TV reporter John Dunn to be his communications director, while Lillard has brought on former WTVF marketing consultant Shelli King to be his spokeswoman.
Fontenay was paid about $68,000 per year to be the spokesman for all three constitutional officers, while the three new communications directors earn a combined $239,000. King is the top earner among the three, with an annual salary of $95,000. Ghassemi will be paid $79,000, while Dunn earns $65,000.
Fontenay, a former reporter for the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, is moving to the Tennessee State Library and Archives. He will serve as spokesman and coordinator for the Tri-Star Chronicles project, which will record the life stories of Tennesseans who made a key impact on the state’s history.