Fairfax, Va. -- James Evans, the retired president and CEO
of Media General Inc., who led the company into cable television, died last week following
an asthma attack. He was 77.
Evans, an engineer by training, was instrumental in
building the company's cable system in Fairfax, Va., in the late 1970s and early
After graduating from Purdue University in 1942, Evans
served in World War II, then became a staff engineer for Mead Paper Co. He joined Media
General in 1973 as vice president supervising the company's nonnewspaper divisions.
He became president and chief operating officer in 1982,
and he was named CEO in 1985 -- a position that he held for five years. Evans was the only
executive without a newspaper background to serve as Media General's president.
After retiring as CEO, Evans was elected vice chairman of
the board of directors in 1990 -- a position that he held until a week before his death.
J. Stewart Bryan III, Media General's board chairman,
president and CEO, said in a prepared statement that Evans' "engineering skills
were especially evident in the construction of a newspaper mill in Georgia and our cable
system in Fairfax County, Va."
Survivors include his wife, Beatrice, and two sons, James
and John. The family said memorial contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church,
Richmond, Va., 23226, or to any charity.