In February 2012, my wife Ann and I acquired nine community newspapers from a Texas-based company, all in South Metro Denver and in two communities near Colorado Springs.
At that time, I had been recently brought in to manage several distressed community newspapers in Jefferson and Adams counties. I immediately merged all these newspapers into a new company that we named Colorado Community Media. Over the past eight years we purchased the distressed newspapers and stabilized them. We sold the Colorado Springs newspapers, bought some Denver newspapers, modernized and won many media awards along the way.
A month ago, I was contacted by a newspaper broker about possibly acquiring the remaining newspapers in Jefferson and Adams counties that we did not already own. Those are the Canyon Courier that serves Evergreen and Conifer, and in Adams County, the Brighton Standard-Blade and Commerce City Sentinel. Also available were the Clear Creek Courant, serving Idaho Springs, Empire and Georgetown, and the Fort Lupton Press, serving Fort Lupton and lower Weld County. In addition, two shoppers would be part of the package.
I am pleased to share that we became the owners of these publications last Thursday. This brings Colorado Community Media to 22 weekly newspapers, two monthly newspapers and two shoppers, including the publication or website you are now reading. It also brings into the group some dedicated and talented people who will surely contribute to the company as a whole. In addition, through this acquisition, we added six full-time journalists and several freelancers.
Colorado Community Media was already the largest locally family owned media company in the state. Through this acquisition, we are now larger and stronger. We believe in providing thorough, objective, informative — and enjoyable — community news: Covering good people doing good things. And, when needed, being truth seekers even when it might be a difficult story for the community to endure. The readers of the newly acquired newspapers were already getting this. But, now, we hope to do even more for them by providing them with more modern systems, websites and access to our existing journalists serving nearby communities.
For local businesses, this is good news. With one representative and one bill, businesses can now reach premium readers in these communities with an overall reach now of up to 22 communities throughout the metro area, foothills and lower Weld County. Our reach is now about twice that of any other newspaper group in the state.
We believe in community news. Both in print and online. Research shows that having a community newspaper increases civic engagement and the number of political candidates, keeps government expenditures in check and helps boost the local economy. But more important to me is keeping the communities connected and telling good stories about good people. It’s why I do what I do and why I am willing to invest in community newspapers. Purchasing these new publications makes all our newspapers stronger.
Thank you for being a reader of one of our newspapers or websites. We succeed because of loyal readers like you. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with comments, questions or news tips.
Jerry Healey is the president and publisher of Colorado Community Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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