A long-time Kentucky journalist has been named interim managing editor of the Western Recorder, which converts in March from a tabloid newspaper to a monthly magazine serving Kentucky Baptists.
Chip Hutcheson, a retired newspaper publisher from Princeton, will be relocating to Louisville to be part of the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Communications team. The selection was approved Monday by the KBC Administrative Committee. His primary responsibility will be to oversee operation of the Recorder, which traces its heritage to 1825.
Chip has served as President of the Kentucky Press Association (2010) and served as President of the National Newspaper Association in 2015-16. In between those two presidencies, Chip was not looking to head another organization but perhaps the one he is most proud of would be his service as President of the Kentucky (Southern) Baptist Convention. He was also inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2012.
In January, Western Recorder editor Todd Deaton announced he would resign his position to become managing editor of the Baptist Courier in his home state of South Carolina. The Western Recorder board of trustees, after months of discussions, finalized plans in January to merge the paper into the KBC Communications Department and change to a magazine product that will be produced monthly. Hutcheson served as chairman of the Western Recorder board for the past year, and served multiple three-year terms on the board.
“We are very pleased to bring someone with Chip Hutcheson’s vast experience and abilities onto the KBC Communications staff to lead in the development of the Western Recorder Magazine,” said Jim Donnell, KBC co-interim executive director. “We are excited about the possibilities that this new resource presents in telling the story of how the Lord is working in and through Kentucky Baptists. Chip is the right person at the right time to lead in this effort.”
Hutcheson will begin his duties March 1, and said his goal is to provide unique content highlighting what God is doing through Kentucky Baptist churches. He noted that current subscribers should see no interruption in receiving the new magazine product.
“The Western Recorder has been used by Kentucky Baptists for more than 100 years to communicate important news and information,” said Brandon Porter, KBC interim communications director. “As the magazine transitions from a newspaper to a magazine, we believe Chip will help it remain grounded in the solid Biblical worldview Kentucky Baptists expect while delivering stories that are accessible to our readers.”
Hutcheson served as KBC president in 2013-14. He has also served two terms on KBC’s Committee on Public Affairs, and was chairman of that committee twice.
He was chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention Committee on Nominations (2014-15) and was recipient of KBC’s “Integrity Award” (2016).
Hutcheson worked 41 years as a newspaper publisher in Princeton. He owned and operated The Princeton Leader from 1976 to 1992, when he and a competing weekly newspaper sold to the Kentucky New Era Media Group. Hutcheson remained as publisher of the merged operation, which expanded to a twice-weekly publication. He retired June 30, 2017 after surrendering to the ministry six months earlier.
During his newspaper career, he won numerous Kentucky Press Association state awards for writing and photography, and won a National Newspaper Association award for best business reporting.
He served as president of the Kentucky Press Association in 2010, and the following year was named the association’s most valuable member. In 2012, he was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
He served as president of the National Newspaper Association (NNA) in 2016, being only the second Kentuckian in the association’s 134-year history to serve in that role. In 2017, Hutcheson was recipient of one of NNA’s most coveted awards, presented to a working or retired newspaperman who demonstrated distinguished service and leadership to the community press and the community where they live.
He has been a member of Southside Baptist Church in Princeton since 1976, serving as a deacon and Sunday School teacher for 40 years. He currently is interim pastor of Lebanon Baptist Church in Princeton.
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- Comment from Cindy Hutcheson Birrell, Chip’s daughter: So proud of my dad all the time. He loves journalism but that pales in comparison to his love for Jesus. This is such a great opportunity for him!