McFarland promoted to Smithfield Times editor

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Smithfield Times’ managing editor, Diana McFarland, is moving into the editor’s chair this week, following the sale of the newspaper and the retirement of former Editor and Publisher John Edwards.

Steve Stewart, the new owner and publisher of The Smithfield Times, announced McFarland’s promotion Monday.

“Diana is uniquely qualified to lead our newsroom as we enter a new era of ownership while honoring the journalistic values that our readers have come to trust and appreciate during John Edwards’ many years as editor,” Stewart said.  {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

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McFarland will have editorial oversight of all news content of The Smithfield Times and Slice magazine, as well as the newspaper’s opinion pages. 

“Having Diana manage the news content of The Smithfield Times will ensure a continuation of the comprehensive coverage for which the paper is known. No one — and I seriously mean no one — is more familiar with Isle of Wight and Surry County public affairs than Diana McFarland. She has covered everything from tornadoes to senior citizen Bingo, and all of it with enthusiasm,” Edwards said.

“In addition, I believe she will bring a fresh look to the paper’s layout and design that will carry it into a new era,” he added.

McFarland came to The Smithfield Times two weeks before Hurricane Isabel arrived in September 2003. Prior to arriving in Smithfield, McFarland was a freelance feature writer for the Daily Press, worked at Fort Monroe as a reporter for the former “Casemate” newspaper, as well as being a freelance illustrator and painter, while raising two children, Mallory and Robert. 

She is originally from Missouri, by way of Colorado, and has resided in the Tidewater area since 1988. 

Today, McFarland lives in downtown Smithfield with her Italian Greyhound, Victor — whom many know as probably the most heavily-dressed dog in town — and cat, Charlie. 

McFarland considers it an honor to serve the residents of Isle of Wight and Surry counties and telling the stories that reflect and shape those communities.   {/mprestriction}