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April 24, 2014

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The Rogersville Review Story

The Rogersville Review was founded by Will Robertson on July 23, 1885. It has been the paper of record for more than a century.

The most renowned publisher/editor in the previous century was the late Eleanor Sheets, who passed away before the centennial celebration of the newspaper on July 18, 1985.

The Newport Plain Talk employed Eleanor and her husband, the late J. Fred Sheets, before relocating to Rogersville in 1932 at the request of Major George L. Berry, president of the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants Union.

Berry hired the Sheets, along with Spurgeon Akers, to manage the newspaper. Akers left the paper soon afterward. In 1958, Fred, who was the publisher and editor, died, leaving the paper to his widow.

Eleanor became the new publisher and editor and continued to publish the paper until her death. She was feisty and known as a very knowledgeable newspaperwoman. Her columns were well read and bear re-reading just for their construction and use of words, if not the content that offers readers today a glimpse of journalism/writing in another era. It was in Eleanor.s time that the newspaper became the last such letterpress weekly newspaper in Tennessee. In July 1981, a conversion was made to cold type, photocomposition, and other state-of-the-art mechanical processes. And today, well the process is even more refined, with pages constructed on computers, sent electronically to the Greeneville Sun, where it is sent directly to a plate and then put on the press to print.

At the time of Eleanor.s death, her grandson, W. Andes Hoyt, who had served as associate editor, assumed the role of editor and publisher. In 1988, he and his sister, Lace Hoyt Stevens sold the Rogersville Review to Jones Media, Inc., led by John M. Jones Sr., and his family, which includes the president of Hawkins County Publishers Inc., Gregg Jones.

Doug Morris was named publisher/editor on May 23, 1988. He brought 25 years of newspaper experience with him, having started as a reporter at the Morristown Daily Gazette-Mail. Following Morris on October 15, 1990, Ellen M. Addison (Myatt) was named publisher. She previously served as publisher of The Smyth County News, Marion Va. In 1997, Kevin Burcham, former advertising director for The Mountaineer in Waynesville, N.C. was named publisher/editor. On January 15, 2001, Bill Parsons was named publisher. On June 19, 2006, Ellen May Addison Myatt returned to resume leadership of the newspaper after serving nearly 10 years as publisher of The Business Journal for Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia. On July 1, 2009, Jesse Lindsey was named editor and publisher of the newspaper. Lindsey spent the prior 12 years publishing newspapers in Alabama and Virginia.

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