Farewell to Jim Smith

Executive Editor of the newspaper died this week.

I wanted to take a minute and express my condolences to the family and co-workers of the late Jim Smith, the executive editor of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, who passed away un-expectedly this past week.

I never worked for Jim but we got to know each other after he came to the area in 2001.

Having worked in his newsroom much earlier in my career, I knew a little about how it operates.

I would periodically run into Jim at local events, where we were each asked to come and explain things like "how do I get my organization's events publicized on TV or in the newspaper?"

I would also see him every couple of years when I was invited by the Lions Club to come and tell what was new at WTAP.

There’s a natural rivalry that exists between companies who are in the communication business.

I want our news folks to get stories right and get them on the air or on our website first.

Jim naturally wanted the same for his newspaper.

A little competition can be a good thing as long as it doesn't go too far and forget the fact that we're all trying to serve the people and businesses of this area.

Jim and I worked together when WTAP added stations in the past few years, to try to help his TV listings as accurate and complete as possible.

I always found him to be open and accessible.

My hope is that the next person to lead the editorial side of that newspaper will be someone who already works there, who already knows the community, and can bring that local knowledge to bear.

That's this week's editorial.
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