Community leaders in Colorado Springs want to join the effort to rescue The Denver Post
from the grips of hedge fund Alden [Global Capital], which owns Digital First Media, which has continually gutted the state's largest newspaper's newsroom. The most recent layoff slashed 30 people from the newsroom.
In the Post
's heyday, it had 250 journalists in its newsroom; now it has fewer than 75.
In a news release, Together for Colorado Springs
, a civic and activist organization, announced that local leaders have pledged at least $10 million to purchase the newspaper.
T4CS is "rallying residents from across Colorado to join with us to purchase the Denver Post
," says T4CS chair John Weiss, who is the owner of the Colorado Springs Independent
and its sister publications that include the Colorado Springs Business Journal
, the Pikes Peak Bulletin and The Transcript
. He also holds the contract to publish three local military newspapers under the Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.
“According to industry reports, the Denver Post
is currently profitable,” Weiss said in the release. “But it is not making enough money to satisfy its current, out-of-state, hedge fund owners. Cutting core staff — not just in the newsroom, but in circulation, marketing, accounting, and throughout the paper — will never lead to the journalism Colorado deserves.”
A growing list of advisors is helping T4CS connect to allies across Colorado. “The Denver Pos
t’s new owners must reflect our state’s diversity — geographically, politically, and demographically,” health care executive Jennifer Furda, a member of the committee and former Business Journal
publisher, said in the release.
Attorney and hotelier Perry Sanders and hotel owner John Goede have committed to helping facilitate the purchase of the Post
to ensure "open-minded, journalist-driven print and digital news for decades to come," the release said.
“Colorado needs a great statewide paper to keep both elected officials and citizens informed,” Marcy Morrison said. “When I served as El Paso County Commissioner, State Legislator, Manitou Springs Mayor and Colorado State Insurance Commissioner, my first priority every morning was to read the Denver Post
Weiss will speak on the impact of newspaper ownership on newspaper content at the opening session of the Colorado Press Association
's meetings this week in Colorado Springs. The panel featuring Weiss and others will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the Antlers Hotel.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, who recently told Rolling Stone
magazine he wished the hedge fund would sell the Post
, will give the Friday keynote address at the press association's convention.
If you're interested in helping with the effort, email ResurrectTheDenverPost@gmail.com
Among those serving on an exploratory committee are Alan Gottlieb, former Post
reporter and co-founder of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit digital news source covering education; former editor of the Colorado Springs Business Journal
and current editor emeritus Ralph Routon; Morrison; Furda; Deborah Mahan, a bank vice president; contractor Chuck Murphy, Sanders; Jim Stewart, founder of the Springs Black Chamber of Commerce; John Street, founder of Telephone Express and other businesses, and Weiss.