Jay Smith recently announced his retirement as president of Cox Newspapers, Inc., a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the nation’s leading media companies and providers of automobile services. He was responsible for overseeing 17 daily newspapers, 27 non-daily newspapers and shoppers, as well as the company's interest in Valpak (the nation’s leader in cooperative direct mail advertising).
Smith joined Cox in 1971 as a reporter at the Dayton (OH) Daily News, where he also worked as assistant city editor, assistant managing editor, business manager, and, eventually, publisher. He spent seven years as publisher of the Atlanta newspapers, and also has headed the Austin (TX) American-Statesman. Smith has been in the newspaper business since the age of 17 when he began his career as a reporter for The Cincinnati (OH) Post and worked on the national copy desk of the Wall Street Journal during the summer while in college.
Active in civic and professional organizations, Smith has chaired the board of United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and has directed a number of fund-raising drives for non-profit organizations, including a successful $37-million capital campaign for the Metro Atlanta Salvation Army, whose advisory board he formerly chaired. He previously served as chairman of the board for Camp Twin Lakes (a summer camp for children with special needs) and is past chairman of the board for the Newspaper Association of America. Smith also is a past board member of the Associated Press.
A native of Cincinnati, Smith is a 1971 graduate of the Ohio State University School of Journalism, where he has chaired the advisory committee of the OSU Journalism School. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Dayton in 1975. Smith and his wife, Susan, live in Atlanta and have four children.