BECKLEY, W.Va. — Frank D. Wood, who began his newspaper career more than four decades ago, has announced he will retire as publisher of The Register-Herald in Beckley and the Times West Virginian in Fairmont, effective Aug. 5.
Randy Mooney, publisher of the neighboring Bluefield Daily Telegraph, will succeed Wood in Beckley. Misty Poe was named general manager and editor of the Times West Virginian in 2015, and she will continue in that role.
“It has been a wonderful journey,” said Wood, a native of the Beckley area. “I’ve witnessed many amazing changes over the years and worked with talented people performing critical functions in all departments.”
Wood began his career in 1969 on the advertising staff of the morning Beckley Post Herald and the afternoon Raleigh Register. The papers merged into the morning The Register-Herald in 1977, resulting in Wood moving into management positions in other departments.
Wood left Beckley in 1988 to become publisher of The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, but returned to West Virginia in 1990 to serve for nine years as publisher of the Times West Virginian in Fairmont.
He returned to Beckley as publisher of The Register-Herald and its companion papers in 1999, expanding them into the digital era with electronic replica editions, websites and mobile phone platforms.
“The Register-Herald has a very solid foundation to meet the challenges and the opportunities of the times,” said Wood. “The way we distribute news and advertising content today has resulted in a larger audience for our print and online content than ever before.”
In 2015, Wood took on the additional role as publisher of the Times West Virginian.
“As the Times West Virginian celebrates 150 years of dedicated service to the community, the print newspaper products, and in more recent years, its web-based content, remain the dominant and credible source for local content and information in Fairmont and Marion County,” said Wood. “The Sesquicentennial is significant in many ways, but it also represents wisdom that will continue to guide the experienced multimedia staff as they provide news and advertising content to a larger-than-ever audience base.”
The veteran publisher said when he started in the newspaper industry, hot metal typesetting on Linotype machines produced content, giving way eventually to phototypesetting and then modern-day computerized page production.
Wood is a three-time president of the West Virginia Press Association. He received the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist award in 2012, the highest individual honor bestowed by the organization. He and his wife, JoAnn, plan to remain as residents of Daniels, spend more time with family and stay active in the community.
“This is a bittersweet time for me because of my fondness for newspapers and what they do to help make these communities better places to live, work and do business,” said Wood. “It has been a privilege to work with dedicated people intent on informing our audience about what matters and why it matters.”
Steve McPhaul, chief operating officer for parent company CNHI, described Wood as a publisher who oversaw numerous initiatives that made The Register-Herald and its sister publications the voice of southern West Virginia.
“Frank’s work ethic and commitment to his newspapers, his staff and his community will be sorely missed,” said McPhaul. “We all wish Frank the very best in retirement.”
The Register-Herald and the Times West Virginian are CNHI newspapers. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, CNHI is a leading publisher of local news and information. Its newspapers, websites and specialty publications serve communities in 23 states.