AP NEWS

Newspaper in Mississippi now run by family’s 4th generation

January 9, 2018

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi newspaper is now being run by the fourth generation of the same family.

Peter Imes, 39, became publisher Saturday of the Commercial Dispatch , a daily paper based in Columbus. He succeeds his father, Birney Imes III, 66, who will continue to write a weekly column.

Birney Imes Sr. merged the Columbus Commercial and Columbus Dispatch in 1922 to form the then bi-weekly Commercial Dispatch. He expanded it to a daily newspaper in 1926.

After he died in 1947, his son Birney Imes Jr., took over as editor and publisher, running the paper for almost 50 years.

Imes III spent several summers working for the newspaper, as well as a couple of years in the 1970s as a staff photographer before embarking on a 20-year career as a self-employed commercial photographer. He became an editor in 1996 after his father became ill. He became publisher in 1998.

Peter Imes moved back to Columbus and joined The Dispatch staff in 2008 after working in web development in Austin, Texas, and real estate development in Memphis, Tennessee. A year later, he became the newspaper’s operations manager, overseeing the launch of The Dispatch’s current website and spearheading the start of its Starkville print edition. He became general manager in 2010.

“When I came to the newspaper, it was during the recession and The Dispatch, like many businesses then, was struggling financially,” Peter Imes said. “Part of my job was to help get us back to making money. Luckily, we had a great staff who helped make that possible.”

Now as publisher, Peter said he plans primarily on “business as usual,” leading a continued newsroom focus on “strong, investigative, local reporting.” He said he also plans to strengthen the newspaper’s web presence this year.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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