Bradley R. Waters, 32, was named publisher of the family-owned Rome Sentinel newspapers today by company president and owner Stephen B. Waters who is stepping down from the position he has held since he succeeded his father, George, in 1993.
Stephen joined the Sentinel in 1974 and will continue to serve as president and editor.
Bradley Waters will be the sixth generation of the family to serve as publisher since Augustus C. Kessinger purchased the newspaper with his partner, Franklin B. Beers in 1864.
The publisher lineage since A.C. includes his son, Albert Remington Kessinger, Bradley C. Barnard, married to Albert and Margaret Everiss’ daughter Margaret, George B. Waters, married to Bradley and Margaret’s daughter, Shirley.
Since he joined the newspaper in 2010 as general manager, Brad Waters has been instrumental in expanding the base of the news business to include the Boonville Herald, the Clinton Record, and the printing of numerous weekly and special publications.
He has added press color capacity, implemented direct computer-to-plate production, and streamlined the Sentinel online presence.
“The newspaper and the community will be well-served by Brad’s skill set,” Stephen Waters said. “My generation brought news production and accounting into the computer age, and brought the newspaper online in 1995, shortly after the World Wide Web was created.”
“Brad’s generation has worked vigorously to reduce production costs, started online multimedia services, engaged readers more closely, and assured our place supplying reliable community news and services on multiple platforms,” he added.
“The last 100 years of retail advertising supported 75 percent of the cost of delivering newspapers in print,” Stephen Waters said, “but changes in retail require affordable electronic subscriptions to nurture community over the next 100 years. Local news has a great future.”
Brad Waters said, “It’s an honor to be called a sixth generation publisher, and with that comes great responsibility to the community and to our employees. We have a long road ahead, revenue models are changing, and we must change with it to continue our mission in bringing reliable community news to our area.
“Dad’s editing and writing will be a continued asset as he remains in the president and editor positions. He laid the building blocks to give this opportunity to me, and I hope to do the same for the seventh generation.”
Brad Waters graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester with a degree in communications and business. Brad played baseball and soccer at Fisher and advanced Fisher’s national award-winning newspaper and magazine.
Brad Waters is married to Westernville native Jenna Hubbard Waters, a nurse practitioner for Bassett Healthcare in Clinton.
Making the announcement, Stephen Waters acknowledged the long history of Sentinel community support.
A.C. Kessinger led the Sentinel from a weekly printed on a manual, single-sheet Washington press to a daily newspaper printed using newly invented Linotype machines and a Hoe cylindrical web letterpress at new offices at 136 N. James St. Kessinger Dam was named after A. R. Kessinger who helped establish Rome’s plentiful water supply in 1909 and later served as Rome’s postmaster and mayor.
In the 1940s, Bradley Barnard established the WRUN-AM and WRUN-FM radio stations, championed building the RFA football stadium, and helped establish the Chamber of Commerce precursor to the Rome Industrial Development Corporation.
George Waters designed and built the new Sentinel offices at 333 W. Dominick St., advancing production to photocomposition and printing to offset lithography. He helped acquire the Rome Art and Community Center, build the new Jervis Library addition, and build additions to Rome Hospital.
Stephen Waters, an original member of Mohawk Valley
EDGE and the Rome Hospital Foundation, helped computerize the Rome Chamber of
Brad Waters follows in the footsteps of his predecessors as an active member of the community. He serves on the Oneida-Herkimer Community Foundation Board, and the boards of the Family-Y and Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. He also serves nationally on the Inland Press Association’s committee for family-owned newspapers.