Bob Smith, the regional editor of the Port Orchard Independent and Central Kitsap Reporter, has been promoted to executive editor of the Kitsap News Group’s three weekly newspapers and two monthly publications.
Smith will continue his role as editor of the Port Orchard weekly newspaper and the monthly CKR. In his new position, Smith will work to expand Kitsap News Group’s coverage of regional news in the Kitsap County communities of Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard and Poulsbo.
“I am pleased that Bob agreed to step into this expanded role,” said Terry Ward, Sound Publishing vice president and regional publisher. “His understanding of issues in Kitsap County will add depth to our news coverage while tackling opinion pieces on issues that matter to residents throughout the county.”
The veteran journalist said he will work to broaden coverage of issues impacting Kitsap County residents as the region heads into a period of rapid expansion, spurred by the growth of the Seattle metropolitan area.
“Our readers subscribe to our newspapers to keep up-to-date on local news and developments in our region,” Smith said.
“We plan to revamp and improve our Opinion pages to include analyses of complicated, far-reaching regional issues with guest viewpoints by a variety of decision-makers and experts from throughout Kitsap County. We also will share our opinions on those issues with occasional editorials and editor’s columns.”
The new executive editor said he also will bring in a new reporter to provide greater coverage of countywide issues and developments, particularly those originating in the Central Kitsap region.
“Our newspapers will continue to provide a hyperfocus on municipal issues in our newspapers’ host cities of Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island,” Smith said. “But the growth of the Kitsap Peninsula into a mix of urban and suburban entities necessitates the need for our newspapers to provide greater news coverage of issues involving transportation, housing, land use and economic growth that are increasingly legislated at the county level.”
A journalism graduate of Seattle University, Smith has bookended his career with two stints as a newspaper professional. He was a reporter and editor with the Citizen Newspapers in Bothell after graduating from college, then left the journalism field to eventually become a senior manager of corporate communications with The Boeing Co. and Spirit AeroSystems over a two-decade period. After several years operating his own marketing communications company, Smith joined Sound Publishing in 2015.