Steve Pope leaving Vail Daily and its parent company |

Steve Pope leaving Vail Daily and its parent company

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Vail Daily Publisher Steve Pope Monday announced he is resigning to accept a job as publisher of the Colorado Springs Gazette and vice president of operations for the central region of Freedom Communications, the newspaper’s parent company. The Gazette is the third-largest newspaper in the state.

Pope’s last day will be Jan. 2.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Pope said. “It gives me the chance to be the publisher at a relatively large newspaper, and it keeps me in Colorado.”

Pope was hired in 2000 as publisher of the Vail Daily. Over the course of more than 40 years in the newspaper business, he has worked for Gannett, Knight Ridder and Media News Group. Before coming to Vail, Pope was publisher and general manager for a newspaper group in Michigan and ran his own newspaper and Internet consulting company.

“Steve and I worked together for six years, and it was a tremendous learning experience for me,” Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers said. “Steve’s method is to give you a goal, and then depending on you to get there, and giving you the freedom to get there. It’s something I’ve consciously tried to do with the news staff.”

In Pope’s years at the Daily, and, since 2005, as general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media, the Daily’s parent company, he became deeply involved in the Vail Valley community. He participates in numerous community events, and has served on the boards of the Vail Valley Partnership, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the local Rotary, the Vail Youth Foundation, and the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.

“The paper’s community involvement really took a step forward with Steve,” said former Vail Daily Publisher Bob Brown, now the president of Swift Communications, Colorado Mountain News Media’s parent company.

Brown hired Pope, and said the first time the two talked in person at the Eagle Diner, Pope was wearing not one, but two cell-phone holsters.

“It was the epitome of what everybody who moves here is trying to escape,” Brown said.

“But what I saw was someone who’d make us better, and he’s more than lived up to that.”

Brown said Swift management hasn’t yet decided how to fill the Vail Daily’s publisher’s job, but he isn’t worried about either that or the future of the paper.

“We’re really fortunate because we’ve got a lot of great people in the company,” Brown said. “We have a wealth of quality individuals to be the Vail Daily publisher and the general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media.”

And, during a tough time for newspapers elsewhere, Pope said he’s confident about the Vail Daily’s future.

“The Vail Daily is one of the strongest franchises in the newspaper industry,” Pope said. “The Vail Daily was one of the best opportunities in my life. My time in the Vail Valley has been better than I could have ever expected.”

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