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Swift Communications newspapers in Colorado will soon ask online readers to pay for access to content. The Carson City, Nevada-based company, which owns a slew of publications in Colorado and is sometimes mocked for its "McMountain News" mass-production publishing style, has already started erecting paywalls at publications elsewhere and will likely begin charging customers here next year. Analysts are viewing the move with skepticism, pointing out that in the wake of a decision this past spring to suspend comment features at its sites, Swift might be betting on a short-term cash-raising strategy in a shifting media environment that rewards the long play.
A new weekly newspaper launching in Vail next week already has competition in the form of a preemptive publishing strike from Vail Daily Editor and Publisher Don Rogers, who tells the Colorado Independent he already launched his own new weekly Thursday afternoon.
On the day Denver lost one of its major metro newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News, there are signs that even small-town community newspapers in Colorado — once believed to be relatively bulletproof — are starting to struggle.