A new day dawns at the Daily News|TOP 10 Stories No. 10

Published 2:58 pm Sunday, December 26, 2010

Managing Editor

The Washington Daily News, published by the Futrell family for over 60 years, was sold in the summer of 2010 and became the 10th story on the Top 10 of 2010 list.
“After much prayerful consideration, my family has made the decision to sell majority interest in the Daily News,” Publisher Ashley B. Futrell Jr. told the newspaper’s staff on June 15. His father, Ashley B. Futrell, became editor and publisher of the paper in 1949.
The sale was completed on Sept. 1 as Washington Newsmedia LLC, a newly-formed media company controlled by Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa, Ala., began publishing the Daily News and the Scuppernong Reminder, a weekly publication serving Tyrrell County, as well as other affiliated publications.
“Boone Newspapers is also a family company, and it shares our values and commitment to local news and service,” the younger Futrell said.
Boone Newspapers owns and manages newspapers in similar-sized communities in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan. Properties close to Washington include The Roanoke-Chowan Herald (Ahoskie), The Gates County Index, The Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald and The (Franklin, Va.) Tidewater News. Todd H. Carpenter of Natchez, Miss., is president and chief operating officer of Boone Newspapers, and James B. Boone Jr. of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is the chief executive officer.
“We are honored to succeed the Futrells and will work hard to build on the strong foundations of journalism, service to customers and community put down by the Futrell family,” Carpenter said. “We are fortunate to become associated with Ray McKeithan and with the excellent group of people at the Daily News. We will work hard to measure up to the confidence put in us by Brownie Futrell and his family and to the responsibilities we have to all who have a stake in the future success of the organization.”
With the change in ownership, the younger Futrell retired as president and publisher after more than 32 years with the paper and was succeeded by Ray McKeithan, the former associate publisher and general manager. Both the Futrell family and McKeithan retained minority stakes in the new publishing company.
“It has been one of the true privileges of my life to continue my family’s stewardship of the Daily News,” Futrell said. “I believe this change of ownership will both honor and extend my father’s vision and legacy of the role of our newspaper in the communities we serve.”