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Smith named ‘Advance’ publisher

Michelle Staff Smith has been named the president of Atmore Newspapers, Inc., and publisher of The Atmore Advance and its associated media products.

Michelle Staff Smith

Michelle Staff Smith

Smith was most recently the advertising manager of The Advance. She succeeds Justin Schuver, who is leaving to become the publisher of The Daily News in Bogalusa, La. The Daily News is an affiliate of Boone Newspapers, Inc., parent company of The Advance.

“I have lived in Atmore my whole life and truly enjoy the area,” Smith said. “Atmore is my home. I know The Advance is an important part of this community and it’s history, and I plan to work hard to help it continue to be best source of news and advertising for our readers and customers.”

Smith’s first day as publisher will be Monday, Aug. 17.

Justin Schuver

Justin Schuver

“Michelle’s long-association with the newspaper and her strong community ties make her an excellent choice to lead The Advance and @MORE magazine,” said former Advance publisher Michele Gerlach. “Michelle and I have worked together at the newspaper and in the restaurant industry. She is a bright young woman with a great work ethic, and I am pleased she has taken on this role.”

The Advance expects to announce the addition of a news editor in the next few days.

Smith grew up in Atmore and is a 1995 graduate of Escambia County High School. She worked for The Advance as an advertising salesperson from 1997 to 1998, as well as 2004 through 2010. She returned to The Advance in July 2014, and has been the advertising manager since.

She will graduate in December from Huntingdon College with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Smith lives in Atmore and has twin 11-year-old children. She is a member of the Atmore Lions Club.