BECKLEY, W.Va. — Beckley has a new mayor and he’s no stranger to Beckley residents. Retired broadcaster Bill O’Brien was chosen by Beckley Council members in a special meeting Thursday night.

O’Brien, who will be sworn-in as mayor at 1 p.m. Friday in council chambers, replaces 25-year mayor Emmett Pugh who resigned as part of a settlement with the West Virginia Ethics Commission.

O’Brien spent his career in radio as a longtime broadcaster and later owner of WJLS Radio. Many of those years he was broadcasting high school football and basketball games.

O’Brien will serve the remaining two and a half years of Pugh’s term. He was one of six people interested in the job.


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  • Jethro

    The fix was on.

    • Curly Joe

      The "fix" was on, but it got broken. For years in Beckley a handful of negative stooges has worked and plotted to get a popular but very limited high school graduate former policeman elected mayor. The guy has been their puppet for years while on council. It's a great day for Beckley and its future to have a successful businessman who has made no deals taking the reins. A shame that didn't happen at the national level....instead of electing an "organizer". Beckley, as always, will be just fine.

  • Beekeeper

    Qualifications? I'm not so sure I'd want to be known as being qualified to be a politician.

  • Dale

    What qualifies him to be mayor?

    • Slipping away

      Absolutely nothing. Beckley politics.