Brown promoted to president of Vail Daily parent company
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Former Vail Daily publisher Bob Brown has been promoted to president of Swift Communications, the Daily’s parent company based in Reno, Nev. Brown will also continue as the company’s chief operating officer. The promotion is effective Dec. 1.
Brown’s promotion come in the wake of the recent announcement that Richard Larson, chairman of the board of Swift, will retire soon.
With Larson’s retirement, current company CEO Arne Hoel will move into the chairman of the board position and Brown moves up to company president. The CEO job will be filled after a search, probably outside the company.
Brown’s new duties will focus on the preservation and enhancement the company’s newspaper business, including acquiring or starting new products.
Brown acknowledged this is a difficult time for the newspaper business.
“In my 22 years in the business ” and other people who have been in the business for 50 years ” no one has ever seen anything like this,” Brown said.
But, Brown said, the current economic slump “pushes you to be creative, to really focus on the customer and to be true to your values.”
Companies that are true to their values, Brown said, will come out the other side of the slump ready to prosper.
Brown said Swift has an advantage because its newspapers are mostly in small communities.
“We need to continue to make our communities better places to live, to learn and to do business,” he said.
That’s going to take some new ideas, and not all of them might work, Brown said. But the core of Swift’s business is in newspapers and will probably stay that way, although on-line news and information will continue to play a larger role in the business.
“There are some things Swift does exceptionally well,” Brown said. “We do pretty well in resort markets, and maybe that’s something we can lead the industry in.”
While Swift is headquarted in Reno, Brown and his family have continued to live in Singletree. Brown said that isn’t going to change.
“We’re lucky to live where we live,” Brown said. “And it’s important that we have ownership in Colorado. About 65 percent of our company is in Colorado. I think it’s smart to have a presence here.”