The Gazette, Colorado Springs’ newspaper of record, has been sold to a subsidiary of a Denver-based corporation and the paper’s chief editor replaced.

The Clarity Media Group, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Corporation, a Colorado holding company, bought The Gazette, Colorado’s second-largest newspaper (after the Denver Post), from Freedom Communications, a California-based publisher, on Nov. 30.

Though the paper technically has no editor-in-chief—it uses the title “content director”—Joe Hight replaced Carmen Boles as head of the newsroom.  Up until his appointment at The Gazette, Hight served as managing editor of The Oklahoman, a newspaper also owned by a subsidiary of Anschutz.

In addition to his other duties, Hight led the Oklahoma City newspaper’s online development and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Associated Press Media Editors, a national association of news editors across all media.

“I’m thrilled that I’m here in Colorado to lead The Gazette’s newsroom,” said Hight.  “It has outstanding journalists who will work with me to make changes for our readers in the future, both print and online.”

Hight also wrote a column published in last Sunday’s paper, discussing his experience and goals.  Among other things, he wrote about vacationing here with his family and the research he’s done on the city, its challenges and its culture.

The sale of The Gazette comes as the latest in a string of print media sales made by Freedom Communications.  Over the past year, the company has controversially sold almost all of its newspaper holdings.

The local paper has struggled to maintain the size of its newsroom in recent years and has undergone a number of sizable layoffs. More recently, however, The Gazette has begun hiring reporters.

The Colorado College journalism program has also begun a partnership with the paper, allowing for current CC students to intern and gain experience in a local newsroom.

The Gazette, founded in 1872, is one of the oldest continuously published newspapers in the country.  The current paper is the product of a series of newspaper mergers across the decades.

Despite the leadership shuffle after the sale, the president and publisher of the paper, Dan Steever, will remain in his post.

Covering Colorado Springs is commonly viewed as one of the more important assignments in the nation.  Among other things, the Springs has the most important military operations and installments outside of those surrounding Washington, D.C.

Famously, Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain are home to the North American Aerospace and Defense Command. The city also headquarters the U.S. Olympic Committee and Olympic training facilities.

The details of the deal have not been disclosed.

Ansel Carpenter

Staff Writer

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