The Gazette, Colorado Springs’ newspaper, has the second highest circulation of any newspaper in the state, behind The Denver Post. Starting in April, readers of the paper—which has, until now, been produced entirely in Colorado Springs—will be receiving their copy of the Gazette from Denver.
While the paper’s reporting, human resources, and some other staff positions will remain in The Springs, its whole production and printing operation will be transferred to Denver on April 15.
In November, the paper was sold to a Denver-based corporation. The change in printing location and production is projected to eliminate approximately 50 positions.
Publishers and other executives have sited several reasons, chiefly cost reduction. The printing presses in Denver—which already print editions of national newspapers that circulate in Colorado Springs—are far newer and more efficient than The Gazette’s current ones.
Since the sale of the paper more than two months ago, The Gazette has added to its news and opinion sections, created new sections for the paper, and hired more journalistic staff.
In addition to these changes, Joe Hight, a long-time editor at other newspapers, including the Oklahoman who took over in December as chief editor, has announced plans to improve the paper. These include a redesign of The Gazette’s website and an expansion of design ideas in the print edition. Readers will also be given opportunity to suggest other changes.
The transfer of services comes as newspapers all across the nation struggle. For the first time in its history, the quarterly circulation revenue of The New York Times outpaced its advertising revenue. In this climate, the print media has been looking for any and all ways to remain economically viable and culturally relevant.
Dan Steever, The Gazette’s publisher, said in a statement, “A newspaper is not about a building…It’s about the content and services that it provides to readers and advertisers.”
The transfer of services is one step towards the newspaper’s goal of drastically increasing reporting and editorial positions. Executives have set a target of a 20 percent increase by the end of this year. This comes at a time when even the most successful American newspapers have had multiple rounds of newsroom and editorial layoffs.
More logistical and organizational changes may be on the horizon for the paper, which is generally thought of as one of the more important papers not based in a state capital. Executives are also exploring the possibility of moving the other operations of the paper to a more affordable location in Colorado Springs.