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Here’s a sentence you don’t see much these days: A new newspaper will hit the streets Thursday. Erin Chavez, former Associate Publisher of the Vail Mountaineer, which closed in June along with the Denver Daily News, will launch a weekly called “Sneak Peak Vail.”
The sprawling greater-Denver metro region is in news-media crisis. In the information age, when there seems to be more and more to know, there is less and less being reported by the diminishing number of local mainstream news outlets here. So it comes as little surprise that media watchdog organization FreePress this week is highlighting the Denver news market as a negative example for the nation. The organization reports that, on top of shrinking newspaper reporting, the local TV news market is host to a "severe" form of the kind of sly consolidation that media corporations have been effecting across the country for nearly a decade. FreePress says this "covert consolidation," where direct ownership is never transferred, is gaining momentum and that it skirts federal ownership laws and erodes market variety and competition.
Accused by a former business partner of being a “news wuss” and by one of his former editors of lacking “journalistic standards, ethics and principles,” Denver Daily News and Vail Mountaineer owner Jim Pavelich took the high road today in announcing he was shutting down both newspapers.
The Colorado newspaper that leads the field in front-page stories about itself uncorked a doozy on Thursday, announcing that nearly a year after first launching its print version last June the Vail Mountaineer was grudgingly joining the online community. But, the paper owned by the publisher of the Denver Daily News will not actually post any breaking news on its site in order to force readers to pick up the print version and read all the ads in between the stories.