Virgil L. Smith

Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Diversity | Gannett Company

Virgil_SmithVirgil Smith earned his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He began his newspaper career in 1971 at The Sacramento Bee, where he held a number of positions including circulation manager and personnel director before moving to the Fresno Bee (California) as the director of consumer marketing and chief labor negotiator in 1984. In 1991 he joined the Gannett Company as associate publisher in Stockton, California; and was named president and publisher in 1992 before serving as the assistant to the senior group president of the Gannett Pacific Group in Reno, Nevada. In 1996, he served as president and publisher of the Asheville, Citizen-Times (North Carolina) for ten years. In September 2006 he was appointed to vice President for Talent Management for the Gannett Company and in October 2010 was appointed to his current position of Vice President Talent Acquisition and Diversity.

Industry affiliations or board positions include: former board member and former President of the National Association of Minority Media Executives; member of the National Association of Broadcasters Foundation board, member and treasurer of the American Press Institute, member of the FCC Diversity in the Digital Age Committee, Memberships in the National Hispanic Journalism Association, National Association of Black Journalists, Asian American Journalism Association, National Association of Native American Journalists, board of advisors for the Morgan State University Global School of Journalism and the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, and chair of Gannett’s Leadership and Diversity Council.  Awards include: Gannett President’s Ring, Manager of the Year Finalist, Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy of Peace, Justice and Community Award, “Man of the Year” in Stockton, California; the annual Ida B. Wells Award for Diversity, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asheville-Buncombe County Community Relations Council.

His immediate family includes wife of 43 years, Dr. Joann Smith, and three adult children – Kenneth, Kenya and Rashaad.