Lanell Downs Smith named Managing Editor of The Greenville Advocate

Published 4:29 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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Greenville Newspapers, LLC, publishers of The Greenville Advocate, The Luverne Journal, The Lowndes Signal and their affiliated websites and special publications, named Lanell Downs Smith, 51, as Managing Editor on February 17. She replaces Shane Dunaway who resigned.

Smith, a Lapine native, joined the Greenville Newspapers family as General Assignment Reporter in October 2022 after working as a freelance correspondent for more than four years for The Alabama Baptist and The Baptist Paper as well as a contributor to Missions Mosaic.

With more than 20 years of business and personnel management experience in the private sector, Smith said she welcomes the opportunity to apply her experience and training in serving readers in Butler, Crenshaw, and Lowndes counties.

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“I love our communities,” Smith said. “My family’s roots run deep in Crenshaw County and I have enjoyed getting to know the people in Lowndes County while becoming better acquainted with residents and businesses in Butler County. It’s been a privilege sharing the stories of our communities and I’m excited to assume this role to help our staff write about what matters most to our readers.”

Smith comes to the position after working as a personnel specialist with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Before assuming that role, she worked for Montgomery-based petroleum contractor, MECO, Inc. as General Manager for 16 years.

“Working for Greenville Newspapers is a dream come true,” Smith said. “For years I worked as a full-time business manager and wrote articles for Christian publications during my off time. The opportunity to write news that resonates with readers in our communities has been a great joy. Now, I’m delighted to assume a role which enables me to work with our whole team to improve our coverage of what people are doing in their schools, churches, businesses, and backyards. If our stories inspire one person, it’s been a good day in the newsroom.”

Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Auburn University at Montgomery. She is the proud mother of two daughters, their husbands, and “Nana” to one granddaughter.

She is the 2020 recipient of the Southern Christian Writers Conference First Place award for Newspaper Article, Boone Newsmedia’s October – December Journalist of the Quarter, and recipient of Boone Newsmedia’s Most Read Bylined Story (Small Sites) award.

“I can’t say enough good things about Lanell,” said Greenville Newspapers’ President Dennis Palmer. “It doesn’t take long after meeting her to realize her passion for community journalism and its importance to the communities we serve. She’s an extremely talented journalist who will continue to contribute content that is interesting and meaningful to readers in our coverage area – and she’s a joy to work with. The future is certainly bright with her leading our newspapers’ editorial effort.”