Raleigh Native and Founder of Triangle Business Journal, Spectator and Raleigh Metro Magazine Dies

Publishing pioneer and community visionary leaves behind a legacy of helping others
Photos courtesy of Katie Reeves
Bernie Reeves ran for U.S. Congress in District 13 in 2010.

Ralph Bernard “Bernie” Reeves III — husband of Carolina Parent Publisher Katherine “Katie” Reid Reeves — passed away peacefully at his home in Raleigh Feb. 24, 2018. He was 70 years old.

Known as a publishing pioneer, entrepreneur, civic and community leader, Reeves was also an avid reader and patron of the arts. He attended UNC-Chapel Hill where he received a B.A. in history, then began his career by selling radio and newspaper ads before launching Spectator, a free alternative weekly, in 1978.

For 20 years Spectator featured cultural and political commentary, including Reeves’ “Mr. Spectator” column, through which he espoused politically conservative viewpoints on popular issues. This content, along with an extensive regional calendar of events, helped establish the Triangle as a cultural hot spot and robust advertising market.

Reeves sold Spectator to Creative Loafing in 1997, which sold Spectator to Carolina Independent Publications in 2002. This sale resulted in the merger of Spectator and The Independent into a single publication.

In 1985, Reeves founded Triangle Business Journal and, later, Triad Business. His publishing entrepreneurship continued in 1999 when he and Katie started Raleigh MetroMagazine, a four-color glossy monthly that aimed to reunite the cultural and commercial ties between the Raleigh/RTP area and Eastern North Carolina. He wrote “My Usual Charming Self” for Raleigh MetroMagazine, an opinion piece with a “tongue-in-cheek reference to Bernie’s willingness to forego polite decorum when an occasion warranted it,” according to his obituary.

“Bernie pushed the envelope at all levels. He made things happen, he helped an endless number of people, writers and organizations over the years and elevated our region culturally, politically
and intellectually,” says his wife, Katie. “He was simply
the most interesting man I knew and I was lucky to spend every day with him.”

In 2003, Reeves launched the first annual “Raleigh Spy Conference” to address the mounting flow of declassified information available since the end of the Cold War, and to bring former agents to Raleigh to discuss national intelligence issues and international terrorism. Reeves ran for U.S. Congress in District 13 in 2010 but lost in a Republican primary runoff to a Tea Party-backed candidate. Reeves was a producer of several intelligence documentaries and executive producer for “Moving Midway,” a documentary by Godfrey Cheshire.

Predeceased by his parents, architect Ralph Bernard Reeves Jr. and Frances Campbell Reeves, and his brother, Ross Campbell Reeves, Bernie is survived by his wife Katie; his son Daniel MacQuarrie Reeves of Richmond, Virginia, and his wife, Kelly; his sister-in-law Robin Neuschel Reeves of Norfolk; his niece Cameron Reeves Poynter of Norfolk, her husband William, and their children Will and Jack; his nephew Peter Campbell Reeves of Richmond, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Alice Campbell Reeves; his father and mother-in-law, Donald Menzies Reid Jr. and Christina Taylor Reid of Wilmington; his sister-in–law Christina Daerr Reid of Raleigh; and his brother-in-law Donald Menzies Reid III of Wilmington, his wife Suzanne, and their son Donald Menzies Reid IV. 

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018, 11 a.m., at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Transitions LifeCare, the North Carolina Heart and Vascular Hospital, Hilltop Home or Christ Episcopal Church.


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