POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — A familiar face has a new title at the Point Pleasant Register.
Beth Sergent, of Point Pleasant, has officially been named managing editor of the Register, where she will continue to oversee the day-to-day editorial content selection and reporting duties.
Sergent began her career with Ohio Valley Publishing in 2004 when she was hired as a reporter at OVP’s The Daily Sentinelin Meigs County, Ohio. She spent seven years at the Sentinelbefore being moved to the Register in 2011.
A native of Mason County, Sergent has a BLA in English from Marshall University, where she graduated with honors.
“I appreciate the support of Publisher Bud Hunt and OVP Editor Michael Johnson in appointing me to this position at my hometown newspaper,” Sergent said. “I also appreciate the support I’ve had in my community and from many others in the OVP family, both past and present, over the years. Nobody gets anywhere alone.”
Chief among those supporters and mentors, according to Sergent, was Charlene Hoeflich, the former manager of the Sentinel, and the late Brian J. Reed, OVP reporter.
“Charlene took a chance on me and both she and Brian taught me that no matter what happened in yesterday’s newspaper, good or bad, you keep looking to tomorrow’s edition,” Sergent said.
Hunt said Sergent exemplifies how a journalist who cares about her community should perform.
“That’s not something we can teach and her professionalism comes through every day,” he said. “Elevating her to the role of managing editor is more reflective of the job she does for our readers. Beth is an asset to the newspaper and her community. If news happens in Mason County, chances are good Beth is right on top of it.”
Johnson noted that Sergent has made his job much less stressful during his nearly three years in working with her.
“I never have to worry about whether or not she knows of a particular event happening in Mason County,” Johnson said. “She’s been my go-to person at Ohio Valley Publishing from the first day I arrived here. She has always ‘run the show,’ so to speak, at the Register. This job title formally recognizes that.”
Sergent said she has never taken lightly the responsibility to tell someone’s story, adding that the Register has always been a part of her life.
“On my first day of kindergarten, a reporter from the Register suddenly appeared in front of me at Central Elementary and took my photo entering the building,” she said. “I also had a pretty embarrassing ‘letter to Santa’ printed in the Register when I was 7, which I guess was my first byline. When I was a teenager, I delivered the Register to 80 customers along Ohio, Kanawha and Viand streets, as well as at the Twin Towers, during the era when the late Bob Wingett was publisher.
“The thing I remember most about the Register was that my late grandmother, Margaret Kincaid, was a longtime subscriber until her death at 88 years old. Every day, she’d bring the newspaper in from her porch on Third Street in Point Pleasant, sit at her kitchen table and read it, leaving it there all day so everyone else who was in and out of her house could see it as well.
“During this time, I remember first reading the bylines of Mindy Kearns and hearing my grandmother’s approval of Mindy based solely upon the fact that they were both Wahama High School alumni. I’d later learn my grandmother was right about Mindy, who has thankfully stepped up to freelance for OVP in the last few years.
Things change, even in Mason County and including the Register, but like the county fair returning every August, it’s still here. To quote a recent column written by Johnson, “This isn’t your father’s, or even your grandfather’s, newspaper anymore. But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped trying to be. At least we know you’re reading us.”
“For me, it’s my grandmother’s newspaper that I remember each day when I face a blank page,” Sergent said. “It’s my hope that somewhere out there, someone is always expecting it.”