More than two years ago, The Colorado Sun was asked to help keep a group of two dozen Denver metro-area newspapers in local hands, rather than risk seeing them fall into the hands of a hedge fund or shut down.
We partnered with the National Trust for Local News and co-purchased Colorado Community Media, which owned and operated these mostly weekly newspapers. They include the Littleton Independent, the Centennial Citizen, the Golden Transcript and many others.
Our goal was to preserve the important hyperlocal journalism that these newspapers produce for their communities and to help in any way that we could. While newspapers these days are a challenging business, we’re delighted to say that these papers are still serving their communities well and we are optimistic about their future.
This week, as The Sun transitions from a public benefit corporation to a nonprofit, we donated our shares to our friends at the National Trust, which is itself a nonprofit. Just as we believe that nonprofit is the right fit for The Sun, we believe it’s a good fit for these weeklies, too. That will be a decision for the Trust and the board of directors of the Colorado News Conservancy, the parent company of CCM.
The Sun received no compensation for this transfer of shares. We embarked on this journey to benefit the public, and we believe we have done that.
“I’m grateful for The Sun’s support at a time that was most critical for our future,” said Linda Shapley, publisher of the Colorado Community Media newspapers. “At Colorado Community Media, we’re excited to be part of the evolving Colorado news ecosystem, and we’re dedicated to serving our communities with timely, factual news and information.”
The Sun is proud of the role that we continue to play in the Colorado media world, and we stand ready to help in any way. On any given day, you can read Colorado Sun stories that we share with newspapers across the state (you can also hear us every Tuesday and Thursday on public radio station KUNC).
The Sun recently published a three-part series, “Final Edition: Saving Local News,” which chronicles the challenges small newspapers are facing across the state, how some are fighting back and why we all have a stake in the outcome.
Please take a moment to read it. Our very democracy depends on a robust, free press, and we urge you to support quality local journalism wherever you find it.