Rebecca Beasley has sold the Clayton Record to Blake Gumprecht, a college professor from New Hampshire.
Gumprecht grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. His first venture in to journalism was a hand-written newspaper he sold door-to –door as a young boy in his neighborhood.
As a journalism student at the University of Kansas, he worked at the student newspaper and earned internships at the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
For the last 14 years, he has been a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of New Hampshire. He also taught at the University of South Carolina.
Gumprecht says he decided to return to journalism, and started his search to find a newspaper to buy last summer. He looked at 122 newspapers in 24 states, and visited nine papers in seven states. “I was immediately taken by Barbour County when I visited last December,” Gumprecht wrote in his column. “I like the look of the place, the quintessentially Southern landscape and architecture, and the pace of life here.”
Beasley’s family has owned The Clayton Record for 102 years. Her grandfather, William Lee Gammell, served as editor and publisher of The Clayton Record from 1915 until 1954. Her grandmother, Pearl Gammell, followed her husband as editor and publisher. In 1960, Miss Bertie, Beasley’s mother, took over the reins of the newspaper and remained active with both the paper and the Clayton community until her death in 1998.
Beasley, who has worked at the newspaper since she was a teenager, took over as her mother’s health declined and has filled the role of editor and publisher since 1998.
In her final column, Beasley wrote, “I write this article with high hopes that the traditions that bring our families and friends together through the sharing of news will continue for many years to come. The news that fills the pages of The Clayton Record has touched all emotions – exciting news, some intriguing topics, some informative articles, and yet some articles that were difficult to write and very sad. All in all, as editor and publisher, the news each week has hopefully chronicled the history of Barbour County and its people.”
Beasley says she is saying farewell, but will continue to support the new editor and publisher in any way she can.