Colorado Springs group seeking local ownership over Denver Post

Posted at 11:46 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 01:46:20-04

Several Colorado Springs businessmen are trying to rally people across the state to buy out the Denver Post.

This, after the state’s largest newspaper faces another round of layoffs.

The local group is being headed by John Weiss, who owns the Independent and a handful of other weekly papers.

Weiss says he was inspired to help, after reading the Denver Post’s editorial on Sunday, where staff (in an unprecedented move) went after their ownership–Alden Global Capital.

"When we read the entire editorial package–people speaking about how their newspaper has been gutted–we said, ‘well what can we do?’"

He vowed to make the Denver Post a Colorado-owned paper, garnering heavy financial support in a matter of days.

"We raised 10 million dollars in pledges–which will not be enough.  But it’s gotten the conversation going."

That includes inside the Denver Post newsroom, which–by July–is expected to be downsized to 70 people.

"I think it’s a good proposal.  I think it’s from their heart," said Kieran Nicholson, after hearing about plans of the possible buyout.

Nicholson is the Chairman of the Newsroom Unit of the Denver Newspaper Guild, and has been with the Denver Post for several decades.

"They’re doing it out of concern and well being for the post.  I don’t want to get my hopes too sky high," he added.

He says if Alden Global sold the paper, it would likely be at a premium.

Weiss said it was too early in the process to identify a possible price tag.

"The Boston Herald sold for 12 million.  The Washington sold for 250 million.  This will be somewhere between the two," he told News5.

"But the real cost will not be the purchase price, but the money to turn it around," he added.

Nicholson says, under local ownership, it’s possible.

"The Minneapolis Star Tribune is under a local owner, as is the Boston Globe.  Those people are flourishing.  Their newsrooms are 3-4 times the size of ours and they’re getting it done.  They’re making money."

"Denver’s been booming.  Denver’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country–and we’ve been heading in an opposite direction, and that’s because of the way it’s being managed," he concluded.

Weiss says he’s meeting with investors next week, and has already had several groups approach him about a partnership.

"We’ve been contacted already by multiple people in Denver, Fort Collins, and Greeley even.  And we’re going to try and work together to be able to put together a coalition–so the Denver Post will be owned by people who love and care about Colorado."