New publisher takes the reins at the Vail Daily
Who is this guy?
• Vail Daily Publisher Mark Wurzer.
• Last job: Vice president of advertising at the Des Moines Register.
• Local ties: Wurzer spent 11 years in Denver, and has been a frequent Vail Valley visitor since his youth.
• He has been married for 34 years. He and wife Lynn have two adult sons.
• Email Mark Wurzer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-748-2920
EAGLE-VAIL — Mark Wurzer grew up in the publishing business. Really — his father sold advertising for the Chicago Tribune and various Hearst newspapers.
Wurzer, a veteran of the print and digital publishing business, started work Friday as the Vail Daily’s publisher. He follows Don Rogers, who moved in April to The Union in Grass Valley, California. The Union, like the Vail Daily, is owned by Swift Communications.
Wurzer was hired after an extensive search.
“Mark brings to the role solid leadership skills and a high level of expertise in both legacy print and digital sales and audience development,” said Jim Morgan, general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media, the Daily’s parent company. “I’m very excited he is joining us in Vail and will be part of the Colorado Mountain News Media management team. His enjoyment of the outdoors, ties to Colorado and experience made him an excellent fit for the Vail operation.”
While he’s new to this job, Wurzer said his goals for the paper align well with the Vail Daily’s current mission.
“What we do is important,” Wurzer said. “We provide content that informs, entertains and stimulates action. I also have a passion for helping local businesses grow.”
The native Chicagoan started his career in college, at the University of Utah, and started work right after college in the advertising department at the Los Angeles Times.
Work there led to stints in a variety of sales and marketing roles, including an 11-year stay in the Denver area. Wurzer was with the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Newspaper Agency — the company created in a joint operating agreement with The Denver Post. He spent another several years with Denver-based Clarity Media, owned by Philip Anschutz.
Wurzer hesitates to call the Vail Daily a “newspaper company,” rather a publishing company, as it connects readers and audiences through print, digital and social media.
While the business has evolved, Wurzer believes in community publishing. And while his career has been on the advertising and marketing side of the industry, Wurzer said great content is what drives the business.
Wurzer’s longevity in the news business stems in large part from that belief, as well as believing there’s a strong future in the community news and marketing services business.
The Vail Daily is in an almost-unique position, given its combination of strong readership from Eagle County residents, second-home owners and visitors with a 90 percent weekly reach at a time when most newspapers reach fewer than 30 percent of a market’s readers. Those audiences have access to traditional print and online content, as well as a growing magazine division that targets many of the niche markets that make up the valley’s business community.
“There aren’t many organizations like this in the country with this kind of audience impact,” Wurzer said. On the print side of the business, 90 percent of adults in the Vail Valley read the Vail Daily at least once a week. On the digital side, the Vail Daily every month counts 134,000 unique visitors and 640,000 page views.
As he settles, Wurzer said he wants to build on the Vail Daily’s legacy of service to the community. He’d like to better use the company’s digital assets to better connect with second-home owners and visitors.
He also wants the Vail Daily to be very accessible to the community.
“We want to continue to be a great community citizen, through our coverage and our involvement with community organizations.
“I want the community to feel they can call me or any of our people,” he added, quickly noting his email address — email@example.com. “I want people to reach out, any time, any place, with ideas, criticism and, yes, even compliments. This is your publishing company.”
With that in mind, expect to see Wurzer out and about at various community functions in the coming days and weeks. And, at some point, he’ll get unpacked.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.