Over the past several years, Chris Slone has grown from a first-year sports editor to an individual who has made substantial editing and writing gains as the editor of the Civitas Media-ran Portsmouth Daily Times.
That continued ascension was proven again at the 2016 Ohio APME Newspaper Contest in Columbus, when Slone, who won first place in best sports enterprise for his feature story, “The Unwavering Faith of Luke Keller,” — which profiled the former Valley and Morehead State football standout — took home top billing for the second year in row at the Ohio APME awards by winning best headline writer on Sunday afternoon.
For Slone, this year’s accomplishment came as much more of a surprise than last year’s award-winning piece.
“I was elated to win,” Slone said. “Last year was a bit different. I was cautiously confident that I would win. This year, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pretty laid back. I didn’t really think much about it. It was pretty stunning.”
Slone, who was hired on as the Daily Times’ sports editor in April of 2013, oversaw sports coverage in a four-county radius during a three-year span. He was named as the editor of the Daily Times in December of 2016 and oversees a paper that holds a circulation of more than 8,000 across the Southern Ohio and Northeastern Kentucky areas.
Slone’s latest award comes during a period of exciting changes for Civitas Media and the Daily Times, who officially moved into a new office location back on May 1. The new office location, which sits at 1603 11th Street, is right in the heart of Portsmouth.
Despite the challenges that such a move can present as far as daily paper production is concerned, Slone not only continues to head the charge in the increased amounts of local coverage, but has continued to develop an online profile that regularly checks in as one of the top five papers across the Civitas Media lines.
“That’s the kind of paper that we’re building here,” Slone said. “We’re a community newspaper. We are striving to be excellent for the community. Anytime you can win an award, whether it’s best feature writer, best headline writer, or best enterprise reporter, we should be elated from a newspaper standpoint and a personal standpoint because it shows that we are growing back home. I’m really happy with the direction that the Daily Times is going in. I see so many positive changes here at the Daily Times and out in the community. The reader feedback has been excellent.”
Eleven Civitas Media newspapers across Ohio, including the Daily Times, won 31 awards Sunday, May 21, 2017, in the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.
First, second and third place awards in various categories were handed out in a ceremony held in Columbus.
In all, 67 daily newspapers submitted 2,084 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2016.