My name is Gene Sellers. Please allow me to introduce myself and my daughter Beth. I was born in Chipley to a newspaper family and have lived here most of my life, except for the 25 years that I had business interests in Mississippi and the Dallas, Texas area.
My father was Earl Sellers, owner and editor of the WASHINGTON COUNTY NEWS for almost 40 years.
Earl was also an accomplished amateur photographer, leaving a vast accumulation of photos of historical value. This storehouse of old photographs forms the backbone of our feature, “Pictures from the Past.”
My grandfather, L. G. Sellers, was also a pioneer in the weekly newspaper business, having founded the Lucedale, Mississippi GEORGE COUNTY TIMES at the turn of the century.
Shown here (left) in the picture on the right is L. G. Sellers, first editor of The George County Times (Lucedale, MS) and Gene’s grandfather.
My “on the job training” in the newspaper business was at the newspaper offices of my father and grandfather.
In the late 1950’s and the early 1960’s I owned and operated the BOONEVILLE INDEPENDENT in Booneville, Mississippi, and the GRACEVILLE NEWS in neighboring Graceville. In the 1970’s I founded DIOGENES PUBLISHING, INC., a financially oriented publishing company, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. During the early 1980’s we moved the company to Dallas. For a number of years in the 1990’s, I authored a daily financial newsletter that was distributed on the worldwide pages of the Knight-Ridder/Bridge electronic bulletin board system. Now, I am tired of traveling and have decided to spend the remainder of my life here in Chipley helping my oldest daughter organize a new daily newspaper on the Internet.
Enough about an old man! Let me introduce my daughter BETH CENTENO, the oldest of my five wonderful children. Beth was also born in Chipley. She received her early education in the elementary schools at Chipley and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and earned her B.S. degree in Secondary Education at the University of Southern Mississippi. Beth spent several years in the teaching profession before joining us at Diogenes Publishing Company as editor of our three daily financial publications. Beth was instrumental in transforming the older Bulletin Board and FAX distribution Systems we used at Diogenes to the more modern and efficient web delivery system we now use on the Internet. Presently, the newsletters are published from our office here in Chipley. Beth will serve as editor, as well as general business manager, of our new daily online newspaper. I plan to continue to help her as long as she needs me, or until my mental or physical health prohibits it. Take my word for it, Beth is highly qualified for this job and she certainly has the ability and determination to see it through. We appreciate the interest you have already shown and ask for your continued support. God bless you all! –Gene Sellers
Final Installment . . .
by Gene Sellers — Friday, December 15, 2000
Taken from . . . “Coffee with the Publisher.”
Back in March of this year, we volunteered our services (on a temporary basis) to try and help our daughter Beth establish a local daily internet newspaper for the Chipley area. We are pleased to report that this objective has been successfully reached, largely due to Beth’s untiring efforts and determination. Her husband Tony is also due much credit for his support and help in establishing the paper.
At age 71 and counting, our contribution to the effort has become somewhat miniscule in the overall plan and we have decided that we should “quit while we are still ahead!” Our contribution to the continuance and success of the operation has been primarily from a financial standpoint and we intend to continue that support as long as it is necessary. As the second year of operation nears, advertising revenue should increase substantially and our support will become less and less important.
Recently, the Chipley Bugle reached a very important milestone in becoming the local paper with the largest overall circulation. Latest available circulation figures for the week ending December 2, 2000, indicate that unique viewers to ChipleyBugle.com sites totaled over 4,200. Latest available circulation figures indicate a total of just under 4,000 for the Washington County News and something a bit less for the Washington County Post. It is indeed most gratifying to have achieved top circulation status in something less than one year’s time!
Our first efforts in the newspaper business came in the year 1937 when we “helped” our older brother Jim “edit” the first Chipley Bugle newspaper in a back corner of our father’s Washington County News printing plant. We think it is only fitting that our last contribution also be made through a modern version of the Chipley Bugle. In between the two Bugles, we were privileged to have owned and operated weekly newspapers in Graceville, Marianna, Slocomb, Alabama, and Booneville, Mississippi, as well as having participated in the operation of our father’s Washington County News in Chipley and our grandfather’s George County Times in Lucedale, Mississippi.
During these 63 years, we have been blessed with many loyal readers and advertisers for which we offer our sincere thanks and appreciation. The one single person to whom we owe most credit for whatever degree of success we may have achieved is our loving wife of 49 years, Bessie. There is no possible way to begin to mention the hundreds of times when Bessie “came through” with that “last minute” advertising order we needed to transform “this week’s edition” into a profitable issue. Thanks Bessie, for your untiring support!
Have a Merry Christmas, and God Bless Each of You!
(or, please help us do our job!)
If you have information about news of local interest that you think should be included on our web site, please send an email or call the editor at 638-2545. We’ll be glad to help you get the information into acceptable format for publication. If you have pictures that can be used along with the information you send, that’s even better. Under certain circumstances, pictures can also be emailed to us; if you need help or advice on “how-to” we’ll be glad to help. Your wedding, engagement, births, anniversaries, birthday parties and out-of-town visitors are important to us (and to your neighbors and friends) so please let us hear from you often.