About Media General

D. Tennant Bryan
D. Tennant BryanDavid Tennant Bryan, whose father and grandfather preceded him as publishers of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The News Leader, served as publisher of the two Richmond newspapers from 1944 to 1978. His son, J. Stewart Bryan III, succeeded him as publisher in 1978. D. Tennant served as chairman of the board of Media General, Inc. from 1969 until 1990, and then as chairman of its executive committee until 1997, when he was named chairman emeritus. He died Dec. 9, 1998 at Ampthill, his West End Richmond home.

Bryan was born Aug. 3, 1906, in Richmond, Va. He received his preliminary education at the Chamberlayne School in Richmond and the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. An alumnus of the University of Virginia and a civic and business leader in Virginia for several decades, he served in World War II as a reserve officer in the U.S. Navy and attained the rank of commander.

Bryan was married in Richmond on May 11, 1932, to Mary Harkness Davidson. They had three children: Mary Tennant, John Stewart III, and Florence Talbott.

Among the professional and civic awards and honors he received were the Richmond Jaycee Young Man of the Year (1939); Virginia Press Association honoree for his work for freedom of information (1960); the Thomas Jefferson Public Service Citation of the Old Dominion chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (1965); the Distinguished Service Award of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce (1978); Virginia Communications Hall of Fame at Virginia Commonwealth University inductee (1987) and later the Virginia Business Hall of Fame; elected a fellow of Sigma Delta Chi professional journalism society, the highest honor the society bestows for public service (1988).

He served as president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association (1958-60); on the board of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (1963-66); on the board of trustees of the Washington Journalism Center (1971); on the board of The Associated Press (1967-76); as a director of the Southern Railway Company (1953-86) and as a trustee (1965-86); as president of the Virginia Historical Society (1978-81); and as an overseer of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Bryan to serve on an advisory committee for an American exhibit in Moscow.

In 1971, Bryan was elected to an independent educational institution that sponsored special conferences for journalists on issues in the news and provided journalism scholarships.

The University of Richmond awarded Bryan an honorary degree of doctor of laws in 1973. He later received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the College of William and Mary.

In 1976, he was initiated into the Raven Society of the University of Virginia. Members of that society are selected for excellence in their fields and their contributions to the university.

Bryan was a special trustee of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., an honorary trustee of Virginia Union University, a former member of the alumni board of trustees of the University of Virginia endowment fund and of the Board of Associates of the University of Richmond.