Son of a gun.
Dave Raese, the longtime publisher of The Dominion Post, is retiring.
“It’s time,” he said.
Time was what he put in plenty of, in the newspaper owned by his family since 1923.
His maternal grandparents, Agnes and Herbert Greer, who knew a few things about entrepreneurship, diversified their manufacturing portfolio that year.
They ventured into media, including the then-new, exciting radio — WAJR is one of theirs — to go to newspapers, which ruled.
A host of weeklies across the region were purchased by the couple, including The Morgantown Post and Morgantown Dominion News, which were both earlier incarnations of the present-day publication.
Their grandson, the once-and-future publisher who was always hanging around the newsroom and its offices, graduated from journalism school at WVU to become a sportswriter, which remains his true love in reporting.
He moved into the big office in 1987, to fill a role needed to keep the family business, and the family legacy, going.
Now that he’s stepping aside from that office to focus more on community outreach — his second professional love — he’s turning to another Raese, who also grew up in the newspaper building, to take over.
That would be his son, Adam Raese, 30, who assumes that role Monday morning, when he settles in to that familiar workspace.
“I have nothing but the utmost confidence in Adam to lead The Dominion Post into the future,” the elder Raese said.
“He’s young and he knows the business. He’ll bring new, fresh ideas.”
Inking the pact
Like his father, Adam Raese kept finding himself drawn to the business that also included his mom, Kathy.
She’s a Michigan native who worked in marketing for The Detroit News.
When corporate upheavals put her on the hunt for a new job, the pursuit would eventually bring her to Morgantown and The Dominion Post.
Newspapering, meanwhile, is hardly a 9-to-5 pursuit.
Young Adam would oftentimes accompany his parents to work, where he would keenly observe both in the controlled chaos of their day-to-day.
As a little boy, he was enthralled by the sight of newspapers rolling off the press.
Still is, in fact.
All the employees knew him, and he knew them.
“There are so many good people in this building,” he said. “So many good memories.”
One of his early DP “babysitters” was the late Vera Hormell, the wise-cracking, prank-pulling switchboard operator who reported to work every day — right up to her 80th birthday.
“She was always ‘Aunt Vera,’ to me,” he said. “She was a riot.”
Adam, also a WVU graduate, was thinking initially about going into the engineering field.
College reflected his varied interests, however.
His multidisciplinary degree included minors in philosophy, sustainable design and the school’s Entrepreneurship in Music Industry offering.
Raese, the younger, worked at The Dominion Post while in school. Turns out, he took after both of his parents.
He liked the environment, too, and was employed in several departments. He took phone calls in circulation and delivered papers.
He worked in composing as a graphic artist and in the newsroom as an obituary clerk.
Later, he launched himself into the digital world, with a goal of revitalizing the newspaper’s online version, a pursuit derailed by the pandemic.
Getting back into that pursuit will be one of his first missions as publisher, he said.
Read all about it
Add that to the daily practice of community journalism, using the benchmarks set down by his father.
Today’s tumultuous times, the new publisher said, isn’t making that easy.
“There is undeniable division along political and social lines across the U.S., where the urban-versus-rural can clearly be seen,” Adam said.
Covering the news in that climate — accurately without bias — couldn’t be more critical than it is now, he said.
“We will continue being the best place to go for those verified accounts of what happened,” he said.
“And we’ll be the only place to go for the stories of the people and families that make this community, from high school basketball games to protests at city hall.”
True to form, Dave Raese wanted minimal mention in this story — even if it is in part about his retirement.
“Hey,” he said, laughing, “I’m old news. It’s all Adam.”
And it was Adam who did the bragging.
Dave Raese, his son said, will keep his Rotary obligations, while especially focusing on the human services effort of the Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center.
The center provides vitally needed support services for youngsters who have been abused or suffered other adverse experiences.
He currently serves as president of its board of directors.
“I think most people who know him, know what a great guy my dad is,” Adam said.
“I’m just going to be striving to put the same sort of good works out there that he always has.”