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The Register-Herald is published seven mornings a week in Beckley, with a daily circulation of 20,310. The newspaper’s history dates back to 1880, when the Raleigh County Index was established by Edwin Prince, a Beckley merchant. In 1893, Robert A. Spencer acquired the paper and renamed it the Raleigh Register. After further changes in ownership and party affiliation, the Register settled down as a Democratic paper and remained so until it ceased publication in 1984. Meanwhile, county Republicans launched the Raleigh Herald in 1900.

In 1912, a local newspaper dynasty was born when Charles Hodel, who had previously been editor and manager of the Herald for 18 months, took over editorship of the Register and management of the corporation owning it. In the fall of 1921, the Register began publishing twice a week, and in 1923 a Sunday issue was added. In 1924, Beckley’s first daily newspaper, the Evening Post, was established. In 1926, the backers of the Post bought the Raleigh Herald and combined the two, naming the publication the Post- Herald. In 1928, the Register also became a daily.

In September 1929, Hodel took over the Post-Herald while retaining the Register. The Beckley Newspapers Corporation was organized, now owning both papers. Hodel became president and general manager of the new corporation and publisher of both papers. Hodel’s sons, Emile, John, and George, followed him into the newspaper business. Emile became editor of the Post-Herald in 1957. John became editor of the Register in 1962. Charles Hodel died in 1973, and George became president of Beckley Newspapers in 1965.

In 1976, Beckley Newspapers Corporation was sold to Clay Communications, a Charleston company publishing the Charleston Daily Mail and other papers. The evening Register was merged into the morning Post-Herald in 1984, with the combined paper named the Register-Herald. Clay Communications sold its newspapers, including the Register-Herald in 1987 to Lincoln Publishing Company, an affiliate of Thomson Newspapers. Community Newspaper Holdings of Alabama bought the paper in 2000.

This Article was written by Judie Smith

Last Revised on May 14, 2013

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Sources

Wood, Jim. Raleigh County. Beckley: J. Wood, 1994.

Cite This Article

Smith, Judie "Beckley Register-Herald." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 14 May 2013. Web. 22 October 2017.

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