The Smithfield Times introduces new editor

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Veteran Hampton Roads journalist Ron Crow has joined The Smithfield Times as editor, succeeding Diana McFarland.

McFarland departs after nearly 17 years of service to become editor of The Boulder Monitor in Boulder, Montana.

“I am deeply appreciative of Diana’s many years of journalistic service to the people of Isle of Wight and Surry,” said Publisher Steve Stewart. “Her contributions to The Smithfield Times are immeasurable, and she will be missed. We are blessed to welcome in Ron Crow,  an experienced newspaperman who knows Western Tidewater well from his days editing Virginian-Pilot regional products that served this area. I’m excited about what Ron will bring to our newspaper and to development of our digital products.”

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McFarland arrived at The Smithfield Times in September 2003 and has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Virginia Press Association. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

“It has been a privilege and pleasure to tell the story of Isle of Wight and Surry counties, and the people who live here, these past 16-plus years,” she said. “I arrived at The Smithfield Times days before our biggest disaster in recent history — Hurricane Isabel.  It was a trial by wind and rain, so to speak, to cover the story and provide you all with the information you needed. Now I’m leaving when we are all dealing with this awful pandemic — yes, terrible timing, but who knew a month or so ago that this would utterly upend our lives? I am confident, however, that the dedicated news coverage will continue under the leadership of publisher Steve Stewart and the new editor, Ron Crow, who will ensure that The Smithfield Times remains the trusted source of information it has always been.”

“Over these many years there have been good and honest people who have stepped up as trusted sources, colleagues, and most of all, as friends. You know who you are and know this — I will miss you terribly. At the same time, I am an optimist and believe you all will weather this storm in good health and get back to job one — working to make Isle of Wight and Surry counties the best that they can be. I know you all can do it. As for me, I’m off to the wild west where there are new challenges, fresh stories to write, a great, big sky and many happy trails to hike.”

Crow comes to The Smithfield Times after 14 years at The Virginian-Pilot, where he most recently was editor of Inside Business. He started at the Pilot as an online producer and, after two years with PilotOnline, moved to the newspaper’s “tabs team,” starting the hyperlocal Your Corner publications, including one that served Isle of Wight. He later became editor of the Suffolk Sun, the Currents section in Portsmouth and the Compass in Norfolk. 

Prior to joining the Pilot, Crow was a copy desk chief and front-page designer for the Daily Press in Newport News, and he worked for the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh in a number of capacities for 14 years. 

He is a graduate of Penn State University and grew up in a small town northwest of Pittsburgh.

“With pretty deep small-town roots myself, I’m excited to get back to Smithfield, one of the most iconic small towns you’ll find,” Crow said. “Some may remember me from 2009 when I was editor of The Pilot’s short-lived Isle of Wight Your Corner section. I look forward to meeting as many readers as possible, even if it is from a distance” until the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

Crow can be reached at  {/mprestriction}