Steamboat Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford on Saturday was named the 2012 Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Colorado Press Association.

Thomas Cooper / Courtesy

Steamboat Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford on Saturday was named the 2012 Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Colorado Press Association.

Scott Stanford named Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year

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Thomas Cooper / Courtesy

Suzanne Schlicht, chief operating officer of The World Co., the Steamboat Pilot & Today's parent company, introduces Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford. Stanford was named the 2012 Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year by the Colorado Press Association.

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Thomas Cooper / Courtesy

The World Co. Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Schlicht, left, stands with Steamboat Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford, center, who on Saturday was named the 2012 Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year by the Colorado Press Association.

— Steamboat Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford was named the 2012 Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year during a banquet Saturday at the Westin Downtown Denver Hotel. The honor is the highest bestowed upon a newspaper professional by the Colorado Press Association.

Stanford was recognized for his commitment to the newspaper industry, his visionary thinking, his drive to deliver information to readers across print and digital platforms and his passion for connecting local advertisers to potential customers.

Suzanne Schlicht, who oversees the operations of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s parent company as chief operating officer of The World Co., was named Colorado Newspaper Person of the Year for 2006.

Schlicht, who was publisher of the Pilot & Today when she hired Stanford as the newspaper’s editor in May 2001, said his innovative leadership is borne of his enthusiasm for journalism and the community he calls home.

“Scott has transformed his organization from a print-focused approach to one that seamlessly provides news and information across multiple platforms,” Schlicht told an audience of more than 250 people at the annual Colorado Press Association convention Saturday. “He has relentlessly promoted an audience-first approach that delivers content as it happens.

“Scott is a master at deploying forward-reaching ideas and technology. Each project he launches has a return-on-investment component while never losing a keen focus on the credibility of the newspaper.”

Some of Stanford’s more recent initiatives include the monthly Coffee and a Newspaper gathering for community members; the Best of the Boat community survey, magazine and celebration; the HotSteamboatDeals.com daily deals program; and the launch of mobile apps for SteamboatToday.com and ExploreSteamboat.com.

Stanford said he was humbled by the honor, and he thanked his colleagues at the Pilot & Today and Craig Daily Press as well as the communities of Routt and Moffat counties for their continued support of their community news organizations.

Stanford served as the Pilot & Today’s editor until September 2007, when he was named advertising director. He was promoted to director of sales and marketing in August 2008 and then to his current position, general manager, in October 2010. Stanford oversees the day-to-day operation of the newspaper, including its business and editorial divisions and all 55 employees.

Under Stanford’s leadership, the Pilot & Today has remained one of the most respected community newspapers in the state. It has been named the best overall paper in its circulation class nine of the past 11 years, and other newspaper companies across the country have reached out for Stanford’s guidance as they attempt to replicate the Pilot & Today’s success in maintaining healthy print circulation and advertising revenue while making tremendous strides in digital advertising revenues and readership. As a direct result of Stanford’s leadership, the Pilot & Today’s print and digital audience has grown to record levels, and its digital presence in the form of desktop, mobile and tablet websites as well as mobile apps has exploded.

Stanford’s wife, Kelly, is executive director of Routt County United Way. He has two daughters — Maggie, a freshman at Sewanee University in Tennessee, and Libby, a freshman at Steamboat Springs High School.

Stanford is a member of the Ski Town USA Rotary Club and served as its president in 2010. He also is heavily involved in youth volleyball programs in Steamboat.

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