I have an exciting announcement for you today: The Colorado Sun is now part owner and operator of 24 suburban newspapers in the Denver metro area.

The Sun has partnered with a new nonprofit called the National Trust for Local News, which is using this endeavor with us as a pilot project to show that local and national funders can collaborate with local journalists to keep newspapers in local hands. 

All too often these days, hedge funds are the first ones in line to buy newspapers, and no one wanted to see that happen. News is too important to be left to absentee owners who care only about double-digit profits, not the journalists and the communities they serve.

Together, The Sun and the National Trust have purchased Colorado Community Media, which has 24 weekly and monthly newspapers serving eight counties including and surrounding Denver. Some of these newspapers are more than 100 years old (the Golden Transcript alone is 153 years old), and they range from Castle Rock to Brighton, Evergreen to Arvada, Parker to Denver’s Washington Park and beyond. Check out the new site coloradonewsconservancy.com for further details. You’ll also see a full list of newspapers later in this column.

Newspapers and two shoppers owned and operated by the Colorado News Conservancy:

  • Arvada Press
  • Brighton Standard Blade
  • Brighton and Ft. Lupton Advertiser
  • Canyon Courier
  • Castle Pines News Press
  • Castle Rock News Press
  • Centennial Citizen
  • Clear Creek Courant
  • Commerce City Sentinel Express
  • Denver Herald Dispatch
  • Douglas County News Press
  • Elbert County News
  • Englewood Herald
  • Fort Lupton Press
  • Golden Transcript
  • Highlands Ranch Herald
  • Jeffco Transcript
  • Life on Capitol Hill
  • Littleton Independent
  • Lone Tree Voice
  • Northglenn/Thornton Sentinel
  • Parker Chronicle
  • South Platte Independent
  • Washington Park Profile
  • Westminster Window
  • 285 Hustler

The Sun and the National Trust will own and operate these newspapers together under the new title of Colorado News Conservancy, which — like The Sun — is a public benefit corporation dedicated to serving Colorado readers.

This is a bit of a departure for The Colorado Sun, which has been an all-digital news site since our founding in 2018. But our entire staff has extensive experience in the print newspaper world, so we’re confident we still remember how it’s done. And the preservation of these newspapers is absolutely part of our mission of public service.

This is a great opportunity for us to step forward and serve these communities and ensure that these newspapers remain locally owned and continue to be the vibrant voices that these communities deserve. We believe we can bring our experience, business know-how and other skills to help them thrive and provide the hyper-local coverage of school boards, cities and counties that only they produce. In many communities, reporters at these 24 newspapers are the only ones covering school board meetings and city councils. 

We want to thank the Colorado Media Project and the Colorado News Collaborative for helping bring everyone together to make this all happen. Jerry and Ann Healey, the owner-publishers of Colorado Community Media, have done a terrific job of ensuring that these newspapers produce the accurate information readers need to be informed citizens and engaged members of their communities. 

Nearing retirement, they reached out in hopes of keeping these newspapers in local hands. We’re thrilled that it all came together, and we’re looking forward to doing great work together.

I also want to thank Sun readers and members for your support. We all depend on access to verified news we can trust, and The Colorado Sun is able to do this important work only because of your help. 

When we announced the creation of The Colorado Sun nearly three years ago, someone asked me whether we’d be willing to consider producing print newspapers one day. My reply: We’ll do whatever Colorado needs us to do.

I’m so proud that we’re able to do this today. 

Thank you for your support of journalist-owned, local news.

Larry Ryckman is Editor and co-founder of The Colorado Sun. Previously he was senior editor at The Denver Post, managing editor at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and city editor at the Greeley Tribune. Ryckman spent 22 years at The Associated...