DAVENPORT, Iowa (December 1, 2020) — Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), a leading provider of news, information and advertising in 77 markets, announced today that Bill Smith has been named president and director of local sales and marketing for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the Culpeper Star-Exponent in Culpeper. The appointment is effective immediately. Bill succeeds Dale Lachniet who has been named vice president finance — corporate controller for Lee. 

“Bill is an accomplished leader who is skilled in delivering effective solutions for our customers,” said Paul Farrell, Lee Enterprises group publisher for Lee’s Virginia markets. “Bill has consistently delivered impressive results while leading our sales teams in these markets.”

Smith joined The Free-Lance Star Publishing Company in 1996 as Director of Sales. Prior to that, he served in various sales capacities with both the Washington Post and Landmark Communications.

“I am thrilled to serve in this new role and honored to be a part of Lee’s unwavering commitment to local media,” Smith said. “The greater Fredericksburg and Culpeper regions are thriving and rapidly growing communities with tremendous promise and potential. I look forward to continuing Lee’s record of success throughout these regions.”

Smith is involved in numerous regional business and civic organizations and is an active member of Mount Ararat Church. He also serves local youth as a volunteer coach in the Stafford Soccer Club. He resides at Merry Oaks Farm with his wife, Ellen, of 43 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.


Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, with daily newspapers, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 350 weekly and specialty publications serving 77 markets in 26 states. Year to date, Lee's newspapers have average daily circulation of 1.2 million, and our legacy websites, including acquisitions, reach more than 43 million digital unique visitors. Lee's markets include St. Louis, MO; Buffalo, NY; Omaha, NE; Richmond, VA; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; and Tucson, AZ. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit www.lee.net.


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