Johnston accepts job with press association

Craig Daily Press

Samantha Johnston has been out of the newspaper industry for three years, but her background in the business and positive, goal-oriented approach landed her in a position to help shape its future in Colorado.

Johnston, 35, is leaving The Memorial Hospital in Craig, where she worked for three years as the chief of organizational excellence, to succeed Ed Otte as the executive director of the Colorado Press Association in Denver. Otte is retiring.

Johnston’s final day with the hospital is Sept. 10. Her first day with the press association will be Sept. 13.

Johnston said she is returning to an industry she is passionate about and believes is as important as a hospital in a community’s infrastructure.

Johnston, originally from Steamboat Springs, spent eight years with WorldWest LLC, which owns the Craig Daily Press, Steamboat Pilot & Today and Hayden Valley Press, which is no longer in publication. During her tenure, she served as the publisher of the Daily Press and the regional director of advertising for the three newspapers.

She said she plans to assist CPA’s member agencies in reaching their readers in new, innovative ways in this time of much uncertainty for the industry. She said she wants to “help newspapers not be scared of healthy change.”

She’s just the person for the job, said Dean Lehman, chairman of the Colorado Press Association board. Lehman said Johnston, who was selected from a pool of 30 candidates, has the enthusiasm, experience and education to move the press association forward.

“I think she impressed our committee by her interest in accomplishing positive goals. ... She seemed to be action-oriented and willing to really look into areas of possible opportunity,” Lehman said.


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