William “Bill” Trimble got into the journalism field because he enjoyed writing and was told he was pretty good at it.
After nearly four decades in the business, Trimble retired this past Thursday as the publisher and vice president of Lakeway Publishers of Virginia where he oversees the Herald-Progress in Ashland, the Caroline Progress, Westmoreland News, Northern Neck News and Northumberland Echo.
“I didn’t know anything else,” Trimble said of a career that took him to a variety of publications, mostly along the East Coast. “This is what I’ve known and I’ve been involved with and loved for a long time.”
Born in Staunton and raised in Farmville, Trimble grew up an avid newspaper reader. After a stint in the Air Force, he studied journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University.
While at VCU, he interned at the Virginia Press Association where he covered the annual conference, wrote stories and did layout for the then-monthly Virginia’s Press newsletter.
He then went to work in advertising at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“Believe it or not, even though I majored to be a writer, I ended up going to the dark side,” Trimble joked about his transition to advertising and a stint in public relations with Philip Morris.
He then moved to the Clinch Valley News in Tazewell as the general manager, but did a little bit of everything from covering local government to crime for the weekly publication.
Trimble worked with all kinds of publications during his journalism career — small weeklies, a mid-sized daily in North Carolina, he managed 38 shoppers on Long Island, NY and was president of a company with three parenting magazines in Texas.
The last six years were with Lakeway Publishers, and his time on the Northern Neck will not easily be forgotten by him or by the many people he influenced through his generosity of spirit
and dedication to keeping community journalism above reproach and a vital outlet for the region.
“When I first came here what really struck me was the ownership that the people who work here took of all three newspapers and how much they cared about their mission of the community,” Trimble said in a recent interview. “I think that still continues today.”
Trimble added that he would miss the citizens in the community and his interaction with them, especially through his six-year membership in the Warsaw-Richmond County Rotary.
“I was active in Rotary ever since I have been here and it has been an honor and a joy to be a part of what Rotary does for the community,” Trimble said. “It has been a lot of fun, up and downs and I will miss the people, the staff and the community.”
Trimble is looking forward in the near future to spending more time with his family, including his four grandchildren.
“Bill has been a tremendous asset to the company … and his strong leadership skills will be missed,” R. Jack Fishman, president of Lakeway Publishers Inc., wrote in a July 2 memorandum to his Virginia staff.
Lakeway Publishers announced that Mosby “Chip” Wigginton, current associate publisher of the Herald-Progress and Caroline Progress, will take over as publisher of those newspapers on Nov. 1, while Cathy Gerring has been named general manager of Northern Neck-based publications.
Steve Weddle, publisher of The Central Virginian in Louisa County and a member of the VPA Board of Directors, will be promoted to vice-president of Lakeway Publisher’s Virginia Division.
As he reflects on his long journalism career, Trimble said “It is an interesting collection of people in this business. It’s pretty diverse and I’ve met an awful lot of really great people over the years. I’ll miss that most of all.”