G. Ogden Nutting, publisher of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., Wheeling, W. Va., was presented the Frank W. Mayborn Leadership Award Monday afternoon by SNPA at its annual News Industry Summit. The Mayborn Award recognizes outstanding newspaper executives for their vision, community leadership and significant contributions to the newspaper industry.
The award, presented annually by SNPA, is named for Frank W. Mayborn, the former editor and publisher of the Temple (Texas) Daily Telegram and the Killeen (Texas) Daily Herald, who served as SNPA president in 1961-62. As a committee member, committee chair and SNPA director, Mayborn provided key leadership throughout the 1950s and 1960s that formed the basis for the organization's future growth and success.
Until his death in 1987, Mayborn also served as one of the leading figures in broadcast and print media in Central Texas.
The award was announced by Donna Barrett, president and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., Montgomery, Ala., who called Nutting "the very model of a newspaper editor and publisher."
"He is deeply committed to the cities and towns his newspapers serve," she said. "He celebrates the successes of those communities and heralds stories of people at their best. He shares their losses and is committed to reporting their failings – particularly when those failings are the fault of elected leaders. Above all, he underscores the importance of what we leave behind to the next generation."
She said, "To appreciate these qualities in Ogden Nutting," Barrett said, "you really have to go back to 1890, when his grandfather, H. C. Ogden, started the Wheeling Daily News."
H. C. Ogden was a "spirited editor and publisher who cared deeply about his community," she said.
"And, in his 74 years, one of the most important things H. C. Ogden accomplished was to impart these ideals and entrust the future of his newspapers to two daughters and five grandchildren – including our friend Ogden Nutting."
She added, H.C. Ogden would be "proud beyond words to see his legacy shining so brightly today, under the leadership of his grandson and now his great-grandsons, Bill and Bob."
Bill Nutting, vice president of Ogden Newspapers, served as president of SNPA in 2011-12. His brother, Bob, is president and CEO of Ogden Newspapers.
Barrett called Ogden Nutting a "leading light in our industry, a visionary and the epitome of a community newspaperman."
She said he also is credited with championing the cause of shaping new generations of journalists.
She noted his strong support of West Virginia University, where he has endowed scholarships in the journalism school, supported the journalism school library, provided for its seminar series and a multimedia classroom. He also has endowed a visiting journalism professorship and supported budding journalists and media executives.
"He is their mentor, friend and advocate," Barrett said. "He is committed to their futures."
"I can say that personally," Barrett said, "as someone who has benefitted richly from his advice, support and friendship."
In accepting the award, Nutting said he believes newspapers have a good future if its leaders do a good job. Citing the five generations of leadership in the Ogden/Nutting family, he said it is "wonderful affirmation that we picked the right career and are doing the right things."
He told his son, Bill: "I'm proud of you. You're doing a wonderful job. And, frankly, your brother is, too."
He talked about the value that he has found in SNPA over the years: information, help and leadership, as well as the camaraderie of old friends and new friendships that are formed through conferences like the News Industry Summit.
He also called on newspapers to look for ways to attract more political advertising to their pages. Saying that a higher percentage of newspaper readers vote than the percentage of radio listeners, TV listeners and cable viewers, Nutting said that the ads ought to be there, too.
He suggested that reader studies be conducted on issues that resonate within newspaper markets. These studies, in turn, can be used to convince candidates that they should be running their ads in local newspapers.
Nutting was presented with a sculpture by renowned glass artist Hans Godo Frabel titled “Reaching for the Stars.”