Herald-Palladium Sports Editor Jason Mitchell has been promoted to an expanded role leading sports page design for The HP and sister publications, and Sports Writer Ben Sanders has been promoted to take Mitchell’s job as HP sports editor.

HP Managing Editor Dave Brown announced the changes today.

Mitchell’s new role as assistant design editor for sports will be in the Paxton Media Group’s editorial design center in The HP newsroom. The design center is responsible for pagination of 15 daily and three weekly newspapers owned by PMG. Mitchell will serve under Design Editor Katie Krawczak.

Mitchell has been HP sports editor since July 2004.

He started working at The HP in January 2001 as a sports writer/copy editor, and became a full-time sports writer in April 2002.

Mitchell, 42, previously worked as a sports writer at the Coldwater Daily Reporter, and as a sports clerk at the Lansing State Journal from September 1998 through June 1999.

He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1999.

“I’m glad to have Jason join the management team in our growing design center,” Brown said. “His experience in sports page design is going to be an asset for all the papers we produce.”

Sanders, 38, grew up in Southwest Michigan and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1999. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Michigan State University in 2003.

Sanders first worked at The Herald-Palladium as a sports correspondent from 2004-06. He also spent time as a sports intern at the Kalamazoo Gazette in the fall of 2005 and sports editor of the Peru (Ind.) Tribune from May 2006 until 2008. He became a full-time sports writer for The HP in June 2008.

“I’m excited about the new opportunity to lead our sports coverage while continuing to be out in the community at local sporting events,” Sanders said.

Brown said Sanders’ knowledge of the Southwest Michigan sports scene makes him well prepared to serve as sports editor.

“Ben is well respected by the coaches, players and fans who have read his stories over the years,” Brown said. “I’m excited that he’ll continue to cover sports events in addition to his leadership role on the sports desk.”