Former Summit Daily News editor tapped to lead Vail Daily newsroom
EAGLE-VAIL — It took only a brief visit in 2008 to convince Krista Driscoll she wanted to put down roots in the Vail Valley. Those roots sank deeper this week, when Driscoll was named the new editor of the Vail Daily.
Driscoll succeeds Ed Stoner, who spent seven years as the paper’s editor, and 13 years in all with the Daily. Stoner is moving up, not out, as he was recently named the director of content for Swift Communications.
At the Daily, Stoner’s tenure included the newspaper earning first place in the General Excellence category in the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters contests in 2010 and 2014. He also led Swift Communications’ coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics, as well as the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Driscoll’s job is to maintain the Vail Daily’s place in the community and build upon an already-strong foundation.
“The Vail Daily is an excellent community newspaper,” Driscoll said. “It’s well regarded in the community, has a high readership rate and it’s a good reflection of our community values.”
Like so many others, Driscoll got her first taste of the Vail Valley as a guest, coming from her native Iowa for a visit during the 2008 then-Teva Mountain Games. She fell in love with the area and set about trying to find a job here.
A friend already living in the valley told Driscoll the Vail Daily had an open position. She applied, but wasn’t hired. Other positions opened and she continued to apply.
Eventually, then-managing editor Matt Zalaznick told her, “It looks like you really want to be here.”
Starting on the desk
Driscoll started in August of 2008 on the paper’s copy desk — those are the people who electronically put content on pages, then push the paper out the door to the Colorado Mountain News Media printing plant in Gypsum. Coincidentally, the copy desk is where Stoner’s Vail Daily career began in 2003.
In 2011, Driscoll was promoted to lead the copy desk where she worked until early 2013.
That’s when an opportunity came at the Summit Daily News — another Colorado Mountain News Media property — to set up an every-day arts and entertainment section there, as well as running Summit’s magazine division.
While living in Breckenridge, Driscoll and her husband, Devin Schow, found themselves still spending a good bit of time on this side of Vail Pass.
When the opportunity came in the summer of 2015 to return to the Vail Daily, supervising arts and entertainment coverage, she jumped at the chance.
Driscoll commuted for a while and ultimately moved back to Minturn, where she had lived during her first stint at the Daily.
“People come here as tourists and get a taste of the resort areas,” she said. “The areas I fell in love with are the towns and the people who have made this their home.”
Those people tend to pick up the Vail Daily’s print edition — about 90 percent of valley residents pick up the Daily at least once a week. But the way people consume their news is evolving. Driscoll wants to make sure the Daily is reaching readers with a variety of preferences in the ways they learn about the valley and the region.
“You can’t say there’s an ‘average’ reader any more,” she said. “Certain people prefer print, some like the e-edition. There are people who prefer the website.”
Those people may want either written stories, videos, podcasts or something else entirely.
“We have to be cognizant of all those platforms and what readers want put in front of them,” she said.
Sinking deeper roots
The bosses at Colorado Mountain News Media believe Driscoll is the person to build on the Daily’s success and expand its reach.
“Krista has earned the opportunity to be the next editor of the Vail Daily,” Vail Daily Publisher Mark Wurzer said. “This is an important position for our community and our company. Krista has a journalist’s heart and soul, solid experience, strong support from our team, loves this community and is an avid outdoors-person. She is a great choice to lead our continuing evolution and build on the Vail Daily’s legacy of service to the community.”
Colorado Mountain News Media General Manager Jim Morgan is also enthusiastic about Driscoll’s promotion.
“Krista is well-positioned to build on the foundation established the past several years by Ed Stoner and Don Rogers and move the Vail Daily, both in print and digitally, forward,” Morgan said. “She’s an excellent writer and editor, and as important, someone with an orientation to the outdoors and the mountain lifestyle. She gets Vail and mountain communities.”
As part of sinking her Vail Valley roots deeper, Driscoll said she’s eager to get to know more of the community and how they connect with the Vail Daily.
“I want to be out in the community, talking to people about what they want from their community newspaper,” she said. “We want a product that appeals to everyone in the valley.” That includes residents, visitors and second-home owners, she added. “I want to know what we’re doing well, and what we can do better.”
The door to the editor’s office is open and you can reach Driscoll at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 970-748-2984.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, email@example.com or @scottnmiller.
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