A few opinion editors before Johanna was her father, Jack Maurice, the only West Virginia journalist to ever win a Pulitzer Prize.
Daunting. Challenging. And sobering.
In one aspect, the move from a public relations role to the news business may not be all that big a transition. Throughout the years, I've been fascinated with local issues and the gathering and disseminating of news.
Growing up in south Louisiana as the child of a Carbider, my parents, Frances and the late Skeeter Merritt, instilled a desire to be informed and participate in the community.
Some of my earliest memories are of our family poring over the pages of the New Orleans Time Picayune for the day's news and sports, and watching the evening news later.
Mom and Dad were lightly involved in local politics.
I remember them coming home from a meeting to plan the campaign of a Republican neighbor named Lucky. Dad was excited about the campaign slogan they had come up with: "Be happy; Go Lucky."
Their involvement in politics and my learning about it came at a time when liberals and conservatives got along. Or so it seemed to me. I don't remember the name calling of people with different views or the divisive battles along party lines.
It's that style of political thought that I've always liked about the Daily Mail.
Its focus is limited government, preservation of individual liberty and economic growth. Editorially, it generally stays positive and promotes civil discourse of issues.
So now I get to be a part of it. It's a dream job that I never dreamed of having, but I'm really excited to be here.
My goal in this job is to encourage discussion of issues important to the people of my adopted home state of West Virginia.
But enough about me. Let me hear from you.
Merritt is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. He may be reached at 304 348-4802 or by email at kelly.merr...@dailymail.com. Follow him on Twitter @ekmerritt.