Last Wednesday, the Gazette held an evening reception at the Broadmoor, attended by 50 or so community leaders, on the health of the newspaper. We requested more details in hopes of attending and reporting on the event, but were told it was "a private, invitation-only reception, rather than a meeting," in an e-mail from editor Joe Hight.
However, one source who attended said it was basically the paper admitting something along the lines of, "For the past five or six years we have stunk. We have not supported the community; we’ve had cuts; we know that we’ve lost your trust. What we would like to do is find ways to reflect the community, to serve the community, and to enrich the life of the people here in the community."
City Councilor Val Snider says what he took away from the reception — hosted by Hight, publisher Dan Steever, and Christian Anschutz, son of billionaire Philip Anschutz, owner of both the paper and the hotel — was that the paper wanted people to know it had improved.
"I think just trying to get the word out that they know that every successful community has a successful newspaper that reflects the town, and that in years past maybe that reflection just hasn’t been all that accurate," says Snider, who says he was the only member of city government in attendance. "It was probably not something that you were expecting them to say, and you didn’t expect them to be that frank. So I was impressed enough to give them a chance."
Also said to be in attendance were people like Tom Osborne, CEO of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation; developer Steve Schuck; and Kaiser Permanente's C.J. Moore.
“They just talked about the changes that they had made in the newspaper; that they wanted to be more community engaged," says community advocate Mary Ellen McNally. "It was not really a big presentation, per se. It was very light, I would say. Nothing new that you wouldn’t know by reading the newspaper."