Longtime Record publisher and editor dies at age 81

Bill Meyer, former Marion County Record editor and publisher, died Tuesday evening, Nov. 14, at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita. He was 81.

Meyer was president of Hoch Publishing Co. Inc., which owns the Marion County Record, Peabody Gazette-Bulletin and Hillsboro Star-Journal.

Meyer was a past president of the Kansas Press Association, a trustee of the Kansas Newspaper Foundation and a long-time chairman of KPA’s legislative committee.

He was inducted into the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2003, and was a recipient of each of the association’s special awards for distinguished service.

In 2002, Meyer received the Eugene Cervi Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

“Bill Meyer was a tremendously gifted editorial writer and newspaper editor who approached his job fearlessly,” said Doug Anstaett, KPA executive director.

“Through the years, he exhibited a cantankerous nature that sometimes got him into hot water, but he truly believed that open government was the key ingredient necessary for good government.

“The Kansas newspaper industry has lost a true giant.”

After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1948, Meyer followed his mother’s footsteps into the newspaper business and went to work as news editor of the Record. He became editor and publisher of the weekly in 1967.

Meyer retired from day-to-day operations in 2003, but continued to serve as publisher emeritus and as president of Hoch Publishing Company Inc.

Since 1971, Meyer also served as editor for the 99th Infantry Division Association veterans group.

The funeral for Meyer was Friday afternoon at Valley United Methodist Church in Marion.

Meyer is survived by his wife, Joan, and son Eric.

Memorial funds have been established with the Meyer Family Trust Fund in care of the Kansas Newspaper Foundation or St. Luke Hospital in Marion.

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