By: E&P Staff
J. Stewart Bryan III, scion of the family who founded Media General Inc., has announced his retirement. Bryan, 70, said he would remain as the non-executive chairman of the company’s board, which is expanding from nine to 11 members.
“I am not deserting the ship,” Bryan told Media General News Service Wednesday. “I think when they put me in a box and carry me out feet-first, that is when I will retire fully.”
This marks the first time in over a century that a member of the Bryan family has not held a high-ranking role at the company.
“As far as the general direction of the company is concerned, I expect to play a role in that,” Bryan added. “As far as any day-to-day activities are concerned, I don’t.”
Bryan, a former publisher of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and chairman of the company’s board since 1990, said that he would maintain an office at Media General’s Richmond headquarters. He had previously stepped down as Media General’s CEO in 2005.
The Bryan family has been in the newspaper business since 1887, when attorney Joseph Bryan acquired ownership of the Daily Times newspaper in Richmond, Virginia. That paper eventually became the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and would become the cornerstone of Richmond Newspapers, Inc., which was formed in 1940 by Bryan’s grandfather John Stewart Bryan. As the company bought up newspapers and radio and television stations across the Southeast, its name was changed to Media General in 1969.
Currently, the company owns more than 125 newspapers in the southeastern United States, including the Times-Dispatch, the Tampa Tribune, and the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal. It also owns and operates 23 broadcast-affiliated television stations, as well as their affiliated Web sites.