ANDREWS – James Blake Roberts is the seventh member and fourth generation of his family to oversee operations of the Andrews County News, founded in 1934 when his great grandfather Charles Roberts Sr. moved his family to Andrews from Seagraves.
His promotion to publisher was announced in January by Randall Roberts, president of Roberts Publishing Co., Inc.
“Most of the original clan served in parts of the family business over the years,” Roberts said. “Blake stepped up last fall to help manage the family business, and I couldn’t be more proud of how he’s managed it and the leadership he has shown.”
The younger Roberts is a 2008 graduate of Andrews High School and attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
After college, he helped his father run the regional Internet provider, Basin Broadband, which started in 2001. He will continue to help run that business while serving as publisher.
Active in civic and sports organizations, Roberts is the current president of the Andrews Chamber of Commerce.
Noting how his predecessors helped to make the local economy stronger and more diversified, he said promoting Andrews will be one of his chief goals. While the oil industry is still important to the local economy, he said, bringing in new businesses and industry is crucial for the city’s future growth.
“My main goal is to make the paper better and continue its role in supporting the community and its leaders in the future,” he said. “Due to the work done here before me, I have big shoes to fill here.”
Roberts and his wife Chelsea have a daughter, Charli, and they are expecting a son.