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In Denver we try to determine the value of a newspaper



DENVER – Across the street from the Colorado Capitol stands an 11-story building adorned with the Denver Post logo. No reporters work more out of the building, just Digital First Media executives, whose cutbacks at the Post Office triggered an unusual request from the newspaper's own editorial side to be sold to another owner.

Five hundred miles to the west, The Salt Lake Tribune News Room occupies one floor of the building that bears his name, overlooking snow-capped mountains and the Utah Jazz Arena. Once a Digital First property that focused on downsizing and feared closure, the paper was sold in 2016 to a prominent local family. Since then, their reporters received their first salary increase in a decade and received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Although his hometown is less than one-third the size of Denver, the Tribune's employees are around 90 employees taller than the 60 or so post office workers who work from rented offices in an industrial area northeast of the city.

"Denver" It's such a big, vibrant community that there are employees who are smaller than ours – that's just a farce, "said Mike Gorrell, a seasoned Tribune reporter.

When Colorado tries to Posting a journalistic rescue mission, it looks to Salt Lake City and other cities like Boston, Minneapolis and Philadelphia, which have seen wealthy residents keep their newspapers viable. "What happens in Denver could be a signal for a battered newspaper industry

"You have a better shot if there is a local owner – there will be pressure on that person to keep this estate alive," said the former Denver Post Office. Editor Greg Moore, who contributed a column to Post's editorial package on April 9. "If Denver's future was like Salt Lake's and she was a local owner with a low T This would be the hope of the post office, as it published its rebellious call for a sale with the headline: "As vultures circle, The Denver Post must be saved. "Editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett did not brief the editor of the newspaper or owners of the editorial and accompanying columns Slamming Digital First and the New York hedge fund who owns it" The smart money is that the Denver Post will rot the bones in a few years " , warned the editor.

Digital First and Alden did not respond: "Alden Global Capital," the editorial "Vulture Capitalists" to requests from The Associated Press for comment. The chain owns more than 80 newspapers and is known for cutting deep. Critics say that they suck the profits from the shortened newsrooms and direct them into other projects.

In the days following the post-editorial, the editor of the Bay Area News Group, also owned by Digital First in heavy cuts, published a sympathetic column. Last week, the editor of the Boulder Daily Camera, another Digital First company, released his request for a buyer himself and said that his bosses would not allow it in their newspaper.

It is unclear whether the post is ever for sale and there is no guarantee that a buyer will appear in Denver.

The bourgeoisie in Colorado has no dominating family like the one in Utah that bought the Tribune, the Huntsmans, which also included the recently deceased Jon Huntsman Sr. $ 11 billion industrial corporation. His son is Jon Huntsman Jr., the former governor of the state, who is now the US ambassador to Russia.

Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz has long been rumored to be a potential buyer, but he also owns the rights to shuttered Rocky Mountain News, and has instead researched the revival of this paper in the past. Anschutz owns the Colorado Springs Gazette and has built a political vertical to compete with the Post's coverage.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says he spoke with local leaders about possible buyers. Potential contributors include Colorado billionaires such as John Malone, Chairman of the Board of Liberty Media, and Pat Stryker, a great liberal political donor. A group of philanthropists travels to Philadelphia to study how charities there bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News in 2016 after Bruce DeBoskey, a philanthropic Denver Philadelphia.

The only group to publicly emerge is a consortium in Colorado Springs, pledging $ 10 million to buy the newspaper. "We still believe in pressure," said John Weiss, publisher of an alternative newspaper in Colorado Springs and six other small newspapers that is part of the group.

J.B. Holston, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at Denver University, has organized meetings through the post office, but said some in the group refuse to set up a new, largely or fully digital newsroom to connect the fast-growing city , But newspaper analyst Ken Doctor warned that there is no proven substitute for a local paper.

"In this whole debacle of American journalism, and especially with what Alden did, we have not entered anyone with a real substitute." Doctor said.

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