West Virginia Press Association honors Spanner with Adam R. Kelly Award

News and Sentinel wins recognition for news, advertising efforts

Jim Spanner holds The Parkersburg News and Sentinel’s award for 3rd place in the Division 1 General Excellence contest and 2022 Adam R. Kelly Award, which he received Aug. 6 during the West Virginia Press Association’s annual convention awards banquet in Charleston. (Photo by Christina Myer)

CHARLESTON — The Parkersburg News and Sentinel won numerous advertising and reporting awards in the 2022 West Virginia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest while the publisher was this year’s Adam R. Kelly Award honoree.

The press association, which represents West Virginia newspapers, held its 2022 convention last weekend in Charleston.

The Adam R. Kelly Award, established in 1991, is the most prestigious of the press association honors. It is named after Adam R. Kelly, the late owner and editor of the Tyler Star News in Sistersville and the longtime writer of the popular weekly column, the “Country Editor.”

This year’s recipient is Jim Spanner, publisher of The News and Sentinel.

“I was both honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award this year,” Spanner said. “With so many deserving people who are part of newspapers in West Virginia, and with the past names associated with this award, I was truly surprised to be called to the podium.”

From left, Executive Editor Christina Myer and Advertising Manager Lisa Northcraft pose with the general excellence awards in advertising and editorial received by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel in the 2022 Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the West Virginia Press Association. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Spanner is the 30th recipient of the award, first bestowed on Phil Fourney of Ravenswood. Other winners include Fran Hollendonner of Parkersburg, the late publisher of The News and Sentinel, Ogden Nutting of Wheeling and David Hedges of Glenville.

The WVPA and newspapers in West Virginia are a close-knit, family group, Spanner said. His wife Andrea and daughter Haley attended the ceremony, but daughter Lindsey and son Corey were unable to attend as they live out of the area.

“I was glad that my wife Andrea, and daughter Haley were able to be there to share in this award, as well as two of my newspaper career mentors, Perry Nardo and Mike Christman,” Spanner said.

Spanner said he was fortunate to have been given the opportunity in the newspaper industry and to work for a family newspaper company owned by the Nuttings. He has worked for the newspapers for about 30 years.

“My personal family values match up well with this company. I have now worked nearly 30 years with Ogden Newspapers, and this industry, and this company, have been very rewarding to me and my family, both personally and professionally,” he said.

“But this award is mine to share, as none of this personal recognition would be possible without the hard work and professionalism that is on display daily from our team at The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and The Marietta Times,” Spanner said. “And for these folks, I am very grateful.”

The News and Sentinel won 22 awards total in the advertising and editorial categories, nine in advertising and 13 in editorial.

The newspaper, which competes in Division 1 (dailies with more than 10,000 circulation) was ranked second statewide in the advertising category and third place in the editorial division. It won the Advertisement of the Year Award, too.

“It is always an honor to win these awards because your newspaper is being judged from other newspapers outside of your area,” Advertising Manager Lisa Northcraft said. “Advertising is definitely a team effort. Starting with sale of the ad, to the design of the ad and finally to the publication of the ad.

“I want to thank all those involved in this process who made this past year successful,” she said.

“I’m proud of the awards won by our newsroom, but they are no surprise,” Executive Editor Christina Myer said. “These folks work tirelessly to provide the best newspaper they can for our readers. It is encouraging to know the judges recognized that.”

Editorial Division results:

* Staff, Newspaper Food Drives, 1st Place, Service to the Community.

* Evan Bevins, Parkersburg, Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority reach agreement on missed funding, 1st Place, Reporting Generated from Public Notice.

* Kristofer McKenna, headlines, 1st Place, Best Headline Writing.

* Staff, WVU-Parkersburg, 1st Place, Best Special Section.

* Staff, Pigskin Preview, 1st Place, Best Sports Special Section.

* Staff, Jan. 10, Oct. 1, 1st Place, Best Newspaper Design.

* Staff, News and Sentinel editorial pages, 2nd Place, Best Editorial Page.

* Steven Adams, Boston-based DataRobot’s CEO sees potential in West Virginia, 2nd Place, Best Business, Economic or Labor Reporting.

* Terry Estep, headlines, 2nd Place, Best Headline Writing.

* Staff, Progress Edition, 2nd Place, Best Special Section.

* Steven Adams, Reporter’s Notebook, 3rd Place, Best News Columnist.

* Art Smith, Lights Fill the Sky With Joy, 3rd Place, Photo Essay.

* Staff, Spring Sports, 3rd Place, Best Sports Special Section.

Results in the Advertising Division were:

* Art Smith, SWC Welcomes Mark Reeder, 1st Place, Best Classified Ad.

* Art Smith, Warren Warriors, 1st Place, Best Newspaper Promotional Campaign.

* Patty Kehl, Bus Schedules, 1st Place, Best Promotion of Public Notice.

* Staff, Vaughan Kimes, 1st Place, Best Process Color Ad – Larger than a Quarter Page.

* Staff, Which Side Are You On?, 1st Place, Best Political Ad

* Staff, Keep Our Street Clean, 2nd Place, Best Promotion of Public Notice.

* Staff, Hello Jackson County!, 2nd Place, Best Single Black & White Ad – Larger than a Quarter Page.

* Staff, Bridal Guide, 2nd Place, Best Special Section.

* Staff, Spring Fix-Up, 2nd Place, Best Theme Pages.


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