Long-time Wyoming journalist Bill Sniffin was named publisher of Cowboy State Daily at a board meeting on January 6. He succeeds the site’s founder, Annaliese Wiederspahn.
Sniffin, in his 50th year as a journalist and publisher in Wyoming, joined Cowboy State Daily in mid-2019. He and his wife Nancy live in Lander and owned newspapers there for 30 years.
Over the course of his career, Sniffin was involved in the ownership of more than 20
newspapers, magazines, print shops, ad agencies, internet companies, and book companies.
In recent years, he is best-known for publishing the most successful coffee table book trilogy in Wyoming’s history with more than 34,000 books sold. His weekly column is also published in more than 20 Wyoming newspapers and digital sites in the state.
“I welcome this challenge,” Sniffin said. “Annaliese has done an outstanding job of turning her dream into a reality. Cowboy State Daily has done a fantastic job up to now in covering stories around the state.”
“Above all, the Cowboy State Daily is pro-Wyoming. Our stories will continue to reflect that,” he said.
Wiederspahn launched the statewide digital news site in the fall of 2018 and launched in January with full video coverage of the 2019 legislative session.
Startup funding for Cowboy State Daily was provided by philanthropist and former gubernatorial candidate Foster Friess. Friess felt Wyoming needed a “pro-Wyoming” statewide news source and joined up with Wiederspahn to launch the site. Friess has not played an active day-to-day role in the operation.
The news site has produced over 700 original news stories and more than 250 video news stories since inception. The publication reaches more than 100,000 Wyoming people each month.
As a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Cowboy State Daily is donor supported and Wyoming funded.
Looking ahead, Sniffin said he was focusing his efforts on advertising and acquiring sponsors.
“Foster Friess has been like a Johnny Appleseed in helping to get worthy projects like this one up and running,” he said. “But going forward, it will be up to us to generate our own income to keep the site viable.”
Cowboy State Daily will again be covering the legislative session, which begins in February. Sniffin also says he plans to add an editorial section to the site and will be seeking additional columnists and guest editorials.
“There is a place for a comprehensive statewide digital news site like Cowboy State Daily in the lives of Wyoming people,” Sniffin says. “We just have to make sure we are providing readers and viewers with the type of news they want to see in fulfilling the needs of their daily lives.”