Aspen Public Radio hires familiar name in local journalism |

Aspen Public Radio hires familiar name in local journalism

Aspen Public Radio has named Aspen journalist and broadcaster Brent Gardner-Smith as its news director. Photo by Austin Colbert.

Aspen Public Radio has named Aspen journalist and broadcaster Brent Gardner-Smith as its news director.

Breeze Richardson, the station’s executive director who made the hire, announced the move Wednesday. Gardner-Smith starts work this week.

Gardner-Smith previously served as executive director of Aspen Public Radio from 2003 to 2007, and served as news director at WMVY, Tisbury (Massachusetts), a reporter at KSNO, Aspen, and an announcer at KSPN, Aspen and KCHO, Chico (California).

His also has worked as a reporter at The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News, and he has held public relations and communications roles at ProPublica, Aspen Skiing Co., and for the Massachusetts State Senate. He has lived in Basalt since 1991, and most recently served as the executive director of Aspen Journalism, a local nonprofit investigative news organization he founded in 2011. For years, Gardner-Smith was the organization’s primary reporter and editor.

“After 10 years of operations, Aspen Journalism is in good shape, with a strong board, a great news team, and solid community support, and I am ready for my next journalism challenge,” said Gardner-Smith. “I’m excited to be returning to Aspen Public Radio as news director, and am happy to be given this opportunity to lead a news team which is focused on helping to inform and connect people from Aspen to Eagle to Rifle through broadcast journalism.”

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Over the years, Gardner-Smith’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Colorado Press Association, and the Colorado Broadcasters Association. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Richardson, who took the helm of Aspen Public Radio in early June, said bringing in Gardner-Smith allows the station to make significant advances on its vision to becoming a centering institution for the community with the ability to put complex issues into context, facilitate enlightening conversations, and generate high-quality news content that is community-driven and impactful, according to a press release.

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