Franklin Henry Titlow Jr., the former owner of the Montgomery News Messenger (now just the News Messenger) from 1948 until 1963, died Jan. 11 at the age of 97.
According to his obituary, Titlow purchased the News Messenger from Hartwell Darby in 1948, where it operated from the basement of the Mensh Building in Christiansburg. He was one of the first in Virginia to move a newspaper from a single linotype printing operation to offset lithography, a type of printing built around printing plates that is still common today, although most (if not all) publications use computers instead of film to plate.
After his success with the News Messenger, he began publishing the Blacksburg Messenger, which, according to a Library of Virginia online database, was published for one year as a weekly newspaper before being sold to the Blacksburg Sun, which ceased publication in 1980.
Titlow continued his journalism career as an associate editor for the Agricultural Extension Service at Virginia Tech. Following that, he began a successful career as a real estate appraiser.
The News Messenger still thrives, documenting the goings-on of Montgomery County and its surrounding areas as a twice-weekly publication, now owned by Montgomery Publishing, LLC.
Funeral services were held Monday at Christ Episcopal Church in Blacksburg, and a private burial took place at Westview Cemetery. Arrangements were made by McCoy Funeral Home.