Summit Daily publisher to lead Glenwood, Rifle newspapers
FRISCO – After one year as an ad director and four as publisher of the Summit Daily News, Michael Bennett, 51, has been named publisher of the Glenwood Post Independent and the Rifle Citizen Telegram, sister papers to the Summit Daily.
“It’s for both of us,” he said of the move he and his wife, Bonnie, plan to take in January. “It’s a little warmer climate, and it’s a good opportunity. It wasn’t an easy choice.”
Bennett starts in Glenwood Jan. 5.
Colorado Mountain News Media (CMNM) general manager Bob Brown chose Bennett from a stable of 13 candidates.
CMNM, a subsidiary of Swift Newspapers in Reno, Nev., owns the Summit Daily, Vail Daily, Aspen Times, Glenwood Post Independent and a number of weekly papers.
“I think his strengths are in putting out a quality newspaper, in conjunction with his community service and leadership,” Brown said.
The Glenwood Springs paper has a daily circulation of 10,000 people and a 80-percent readership. The Summit Daily News has a circulation of 11,000 and a 90 percent readership.
Bennett, a native of the Philadelphia-South Jersey area, graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University in Morgantown.
He migrated to the advertising side of the business, which he knew well from working as a youth with his ad salesman father.
His work carried him to Haddonfield, N.J., Trenton and to other jobs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
He became ad director with the Vail and Summit dailies in 1997 before being named publisher of Summit Daily News in 1999.
In Glenwood, he replaces Valerie Smith who moved to Florida to be closer to her family.
When Bennett began work in Frisco, the newspaper won two awards during annual editorial and advertising competitions.
Last year, the paper secured 17 awards. The staff has grown, as well, to include 13 editorial personnel, nine advertising representatives, five graphics employees, 15 delivery drivers and five support personnel.
“The Summit Daily News has a lot of ties to the community,” Bennett said.
“We’ve improved our editorial content, broadened the amount of local coverage, improved customer service in advertising and made newspapers more readily available throughout the market.”
During his tenure in Summit County, Bennett has been involved in an array of community activities, including serving on the executive boards of the Summit County Rotary Club, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center the Better Business Bureau and as current treasurer of the Summit County Chamber.
He’s also active with the Summit Foundation, the Breckenridge Resort and Frisco chambers and the Summit Prevention Alliance.
“That’s the part I’ll really miss,” he said. “I’m going to miss working with people at the Summit Daily and the community. For such a small community, people there do a lot of great things. And when you work with these folks, you really get tied in.”
Bennett is known throughout the community for his generosity in sponsoring numerous community and fundraising events.
In Glenwood, he will oversee a staff of 30, manage the advertising department until he hires an ad director and get involved in his new community.
His wife looks forward to gardening again and returning to work as a nurse.
“We want to get involved in the community,” Bennett said. “People realize I’m going to be there to stay.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or
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