Kofford promoted to Press editor

December 11, 2001|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH, Staff Writer

Bret Kofford, managing editor of the Imperial Valley Press, has been promoted.

David Leone, president and publisher of the paper, has announced Kofford's promotion to the position of editor.

"Bret has been here a lot of years now. He has a great feel for the community and he certainly understands what's going on within the community," Leone said Monday.

Leone said the promotion means Kofford will have more responsibility for driving the direction of the paper's content. Kofford said with the Press now offering more products, including a business journal and a Spanish-language newspaper, the breadth of his duties has expanded in recent months.

Kofford signed on with the paper in 1990 as city editor after working at newspapers in Georgia and Florida. Originally from California's Central Valley, he had moved to the South in 1983 to complete graduate school.


He was promoted to managing editor of the I.V. Press in 1998.

With a smile, Leone conceded that not everybody in the community agrees with some of the sentiments expressed in Kofford's weekly "Life Out Here" columns, but pointed out he has a loyal following of readers who enjoy his writings.

"It's a love-hate relationship … and I think that's good because you don't want to be boring as a newspaper," he said.

Kofford agrees that his dual role as editor and columnist is an unusual one but says, "I think the distinction is that I don't mix the two. I don't let my personal opinions interfere with being an editor."

Continuing, Kofford said "When I'm editing I try to be professional, objective and removed … but when I'm a columnist, I don't have to be objective or removed. A columnist is stating his opinion."

Adding that he tries not to write about local issues because "I can see that some people would see that as a conflict," he admits that he sometimes finds local issues to be "irresistible."

"Though sometimes people take me seriously when I'm only writing tongue-in-cheek," he added.

Asked if he'd ever thought of moving from the Imperial Valley, Kofford said he had received a couple job offers elsewhere in recent years, and while they had been higher-paying jobs, he did not want to leave the Valley.

"It's not like anywhere else. I like the fact that it's different. I like living on the border with the mix of cultures. I consider the Valley home now."

Kofford and his wife, Sandra, an assistant principal at Central Union High School in El Centro, live in El Centro with their son Richard, 14, a freshman at Central.

>> Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or

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