This week Morris Multimedia President Charles Hill Morris Sr. was honored by the Georgia Press Association at the organization’s annual convention at Jekyll Island for 50 years of service to the newspaper industry. He joins the ranks of GPA’s prestigious Golden Club.The nine Georgia Morris Multimedia newspaper publishers nominated Morris for the award. They are Dennis Stockton of The Gainesville Times, John Hall of The Forsyth News, Debbie Burgamy of The Barrow County News, T. Pat Cavanaugh of The Rockdale News, Randy Morton of The Statesboro Herald, Regional Vice President of Morris Newspaper Corporation Joe McGlamery, Mark Griffin of The Bryan County News and The Coastal Courier, Karen Tanksley of The Effingham Herald and Charles Hill Morris Jr. of The Covington News.
Morris began his newspaper career as a carrier boy for the Augusta Chronicle, which was owned by his father. He later worked for the Daily Oklahoman and the St. Petersburg Times, where he worked in almost every department preparing himself for his future role as newspaper owner.
He joined the Savannah Morning News as a reporter in 1960 and in 1966 was named publisher of the paper. In 1970 he left to start his own company, which today includes 70 publications — including The Rockdale News — located in 10 states and the Virgin Islands. The company also owns 11 network television stations located throughout the South.
"Mr. Morris runs a company that strongly encourages community involvement by its employees," reads the nomination letter sent by the nine Morris Multimedia publishers in Georgia. "Toward this end, he has created an atmosphere of autonomy with his publishers. As a result of his management philosophy, Morris Multimedia has grown into one of the largest and most successful media companies in the United States."
In addition to Morris’ success in the media industry, he has devoted efforts to historical preservation. He took the helm of the restoration of the historic Oliver Sturgis House in Savannah and has turned the landmark into company headquarters. He also is in the process of redeveloping Trustees Garden in Savannah into an environment for multiple uses for the public.
"Mr. Morris is tough, but fair. He respects honesty and creativity. He is a gentleman’s gentleman. He and his family are icons in Georgia newspaper history," reads the nomination letter. "Without his family’s perseverance and his own personal leadership, the Georgia newspaper industry would not be as strong as it is today."