William R. “Bill” Shipp, a legend in Georgia journalism, died Saturday at the age of 89.
Shipp was a political editor and columnist for many years when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was separated into the morning Atlanta Constitution and evening Atlanta Journal. He served as a panelist on the political program Sunday News Conference which later became the current Fox5Atlanta WAGA-TV “Georgia Gang” broadcast. His weekly newspaper column also ran in numerous daily and weekly newspapers for years throughout Georgia.
In the late 1980s Shipp founded “Bill Shipp’s Georgia,” owned by the company Word Merchants, which he created with the late columnist and author Lewis Grizzard.
“Bill Shipp’s Georgia” was the state’s most prominent print and later electronic political newsletter. It was in 2000 when InsiderAdvantage purchased Word Merchants and “Bill Shipp’s Georgia.” He remained the publisher/editor of the newsletter until his retirement in 2006. Associated Press legend Dick Pettys took the helm of the publication, which became “Dick Pettys’ Georgia“ until his untimely death in 2012. The publication is now the current InsiderAdvantage Georgia/James Magazine Online.
“Bill was a brilliant, larger-than-life person and the personification of a true journalist. He knew where everybody was buried under the Gold Dome and in D.C,” said Matt Towery, co-founder and chairman of InsiderAdvantage. “He was funny, engaging and at the top of his game when he chose on his own to retire. He was also a very devoted family man.”
“What I most respected about Bill was that he was not only a consummate journalist, he was also a true entrepreneur. We considered it an honor to purchase ’Bill Shipp’s Georgia,’ but we knew we were not purchasing Bill Shipp. He was always his own man and did things his own way. We extend our sympathy and love to his family,” Towery added.
“Not only was Bill an outstanding investigative reporter, award-winning writer, author and political networker during his 50-year career, he was a worthy debate partner and my friend who was a regular panelist with me on the “Georgia Gang” for many years,” said Phil Kent, CEO and Publisher of InsiderAdvantage Georgia and James Magazine.