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Executive Editor Mike Myer Passes At 69

By Ed Parsons - Editor | Jan 13, 2021

J. Michael Myer, a familiar face throughout West Virginia, and executive editor of the Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, died Wednesday, January 6, at Wheeling Hospital. He was 69.

Mike spent several years in the early part of his career as Editor of the Wetzel Chronicle his hometown paper. He had a love for the weekly papers, and was quick to call with a compliment, or offer help when needed.

Not once was he ever critical, but instead he chose to offer helpful advice.

Myer was currently the president of the trustees of the West Virginia Press Association Foundation, the educational non-profit supported by the state’s newspaper industry.

Myer was a past-president of the Press Association and winner of the Adam R. Kelly Award, the West Virginia newspaper industry’s highest honor, and numerous editorial and writing awards.

His newspaper career spanned 46 years as he became well-known throughout West Virginia and Ohio for his daily editorials and columns that focused on local and state issues.

Mike never forgot his ties to Wetzel and Tyler Counties and each year he would travel to Tyler Consolidated High School to speak with the top 10 percent students from Tyler Consolidated and Paden City High School at the annual academic awards banquet, sponsored by Peoples Bank of Tyler/Wetzel Counties.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Myer, he was an inspiration to us as educators and to the students and their parents. He encouraged all students to continue on course and pursue their dreams with passion, we always enjoyed listening to Mike, It was one of the highlights of our annual event,” stated Linda Hoover President of the Tyler County Board of Education.

G. Ogden Nutting, publisher of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, said Myer will be best remembered for being a newspaperman.

“For me, he was a close friend, a valued and respected source of good advice and counsel based on sound judgment, values and common sense, and also someone with a good sense of humor,” Nutting said.

“Mike’s love for his family and pride in what his wife Connie and his daughters, Christina and Jessica, accomplished was sincere, great, and obvious,” Nutting added. “The shortest editorial ever written certainly applied to him: ‘A family loved, a community and state served, a life well lived.'”

Myer also left a lasting impact on Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.

“Mike was a dedicated journalist who understood the importance of his profession and how his words impacted the lives of so many people,” Nardo said. “He took his role as a community leader very seriously, was above reproach, and he committed himself each day to providing our readers a balanced account of the news. His impact on my professional and personal development cannot be measured and his unique wit will be missed.”

For the West Virginia Press Association and the state’s newspaper industry, the lost is tremendous, Don Smith, executive director of the WVPA said.

“Mike has been one of the strongest editorial voices in West Virginia for decades. He won every award possible as a writer, editor and columnist and served as an example and mentor for writers across the state. At the Press Association, he was a respected leader and advisor.

“As president of the Foundation, he was a leader in providing college scholarships and paid internships for journalism students in West Virginia. Mike took great pride in the efforts of the Press Association and the newspaper industry to support students and journalism in West Virginia. Another one of the many highlights of his commitment to the people of this state was leading an effort to gather and deliver Christmas toys for the children of families impacted by the flood that ravished much of West Virginia in November of 1985.

“Mike was a great family man and friend. So many people in our industry are devastated by his death. Being professional journalists, we have seen a lot, but this brought tears to the eyes of many people. Our thoughts are with his wife, Connie, and his family,” Smith said.

Myer’s presence also will be missed by John McCabe, editor of the Wheeling newspapers. McCabe said Myer served as a mentor to him over their 20-plus-year working relationship, and helped him to grow and fully understand the role of a community newspaper editor.

“Mike was a newspaperman’s newspaperman, offering a common-sense, grounded and measured approach to how we covered the events taking place each day,” McCabe said. “He also was my friend, closest confidant, a great sounding board on any issue that came up and a constant check on my sometimes rash decisions. I will greatly miss our daily chats on issues ranging from local and state politics, to our families, and to how we live life here in West Virginia. I have nothing but the utmost respect for how Mike did his job each day and how he led his life.”

McCabe also recalled Myer’s deep love for West Virginia, a love he shared with his family and friends and, sometimes, on the pages of the newspapers.

“To say that Mike enjoyed the outdoors would be an understatement; he absolutely adored the outdoors,” McCabe said. “He always appreciated when he had the opportunity to visit areas such as Canaan Valley or the Smoke Hole region on work assignments, and then come back and share his observations in a column. He also kept an old atlas in his desk that he often would pull out during our chats, pointing to various points of interest or a cave he had explored in his youth in that region. He was a West Virginian through and through, and this state and region has lost a true gem of a human being.”

In a recent email, United Sates Senator Joe Manchin had this to say, “Mike was a person of the utmost integrity. Over the years, we had lively debates about politics and the best direction for West Virginia. Mike was always able to look for the common ground and the best way to move forward for the sake of our state and country. I appreciate his insight and friendship more than he knew. I will miss him a great deal. Gayle and I are praying for his family and friends as they mourn this tremendous loss.”

Rest in Peace Mike Myer, we at the local newspapers in Wetzel and Tyler Counties will miss you!