Valerie Smith named Grand Junction Free Press publisher
Vail, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” Valerie J. Smith, of Grand Junction, has been named publisher of the Grand Junction Free Press. Smith most recently served as regional marketing director for Colorado Mountain News Media, the company that publishes the Free Press as well as the Vail Daily.
“Valerie brings a wealth of knowledge to her new position,” said Steven K. Pope, general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media. “She has been in the newspaper industry for more than 20 years, and has lived in the Grand Junction area for the past three years, giving her a good understanding of the community and the needs of the Free Press.”
Smith has worked for Swift Communications, the parent company of the Free Press, since 1993. She was previously the publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and associate publisher and advertising director at the Vail Daily. She also served as general manager of Pacific Coast Newspapers.
“I am honored to have been selected to work with the talented staff at the Free Press and gjfreepress.com,” Smith said. “It’s amazing how often I have heard people in this community say they love the Free Press.”
Smith takes the helm of the Free Press during unsteady economic times, not only for newspapers in Western Colorado, but for many businesses in the area.
“We all recognize today’s economic times present challenges,” she said. “The staff and I will continue to focus on community and quality in serving our readers and advertisers.”
Smith has a master of business administration degree from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. She studied mass communications at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg and worked at the St. Petersburg Times for seven years early in her career, in classified advertising and business news.
She has lived in Colorado for more than 20 years, in Colorado Springs, Vail, Glenwood Springs and now Grand Junction. She is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys running, hiking, boating and just about anything outdoors. Smith volunteers time with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Alzheimer’s Association, and she is the newsletter editor for the 315th World War II Troop Carrier Association, a nonprofit organization.