Chris Slone is now in a position to do something near and dear to his heart. When Daily Times and Community Common Publisher Hope Comer named Slone editor of those publications, it gave him the vehicle to help those in his department achieve their goals.
Slone, a 2011 graduate of Morehead State University with a bachelors degree in journalism, came to the Times after a short stint at the Ironton Tribune. He was named sports editor in 2012 and now has been named editor.
“Chris has provided us with sports coverage as a sports editor the past few years and he really proved himself during the increased coverage,” Comer said. “During the football season this year when we asked him to increase coverage, pull together a photo page, he was able to pull together a plan and to execute the plan. He showed leadership and that’s what I’m looking for in an editor for the Daily Times and Community Common going forwards, so he can now help those employees who are on his staff in the newsroom and on the sports staff as well, and lead them in a direction toward our vision – coach them and give them the training tools they need to develop their writing better and enable them to open up new doors for themselves as well.”
The job has always been in the back of Slone’s mind.
“It’s obviously an aspiration I’ve had,” Slone said. “When I became a writer when I graduated, I always thought one day, what if I was an editor? When I became the sports editor, I used to talk to people who said, ‘hey, one day you might be an editor.’ It’s something that I’ve always had in the back of my mind. It’s not something that I just woke up one day and just decided I’m going to jump for it.”
Slone has hit the ground running and says he has many things he wants to accomplish.
“The fact that I’m a driven person, I want to see this paper succeed, just like I wanted to see my sports department succeed. I’m never happy with just the status quo. Therefore, hopefully I can use that to my advantage and we can keep reaching the community and the community can be proud of what I do.”
What do you want to accomplish under Publisher Hope Comer?
“I want to connect more with the community,” Slone said. “I want the community to be proud of what we do. I want them to be able to lean on us – to be able to call us with story ideas. As crazy as they might think they sound, I want them to be able to pick up the phone and call us, and say – ‘hey, have you guys thought about this?’ I want them to be able to see us out in the community and know that we have their backs and they can lean on us for support and that we’re always going to be there. We are their community newspaper and I want them to know that and that we have that connection with the community here.”
Slone said he is aware of what Comer wishes to accomplish.
“As always, I want to provide the breaking news, the news that the readers need in front of them. Reporting it accurately, making sure that we attribute our sources,” Comer said. “I want to be the community newspaper that the Portsmouth area needs and wants. I want to be the place they go to to look for the news or to know what’s going on in our communities.”
Comer said she believes Slone has a full understanding of the platforms the newspapers use now to provide the readers with news.
“Today we have more readers and viewers reading our news than we have ever had in the past, even 10-20 years ago,” Comer said. “He has an understanding of the social media aspects online and the print product.”
Slone leaned back in his chair in an air of contentedness.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Slone said. “I really think we have a strong team and the community is going to realize that.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.