Dolan Media acquires the rights to publish four military newspapers

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In 1998, Minneapolis-based Dolan Media Company purchased the Colorado Springs Business Journal from Charles Sheldon and Roger Powell; in 2002, the company purchased The Daily Transcript from Gowdy Printcraft Inc.

This week, Dolan Media President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan announced that the company has acquired the rights to publish a string of newspapers related to the Colorado Springs military community.

Gowdy Printcraft, a division of American Graphics Inc., is selling its military newspaper publications. Jim Grammer, owner and president of Gowdy, said his long-standing print company has been producing the military newspapers for more than 50 years. The original print shop owners founded the military newspapers in this area and built them from the ground up, Grammer said.

“I acquired this business three years ago, and increased our business with the military by 40 percent,” he said. “I think it’s time for a multi-national company like Dolan Media to take it to the next level – I am very comfortable with Jim Dolan.”

Civilian enterprise newspapers are published by private companies operating under contract with individual military installations. Newspapers are written and designed on base by military and civilian personnel working in teams.

The publications are the official newspapers of their respective bases and receive exclusive delivery rights.

Assuming the military agencies involved approve the newspaper transfer, Dolan Media will publish Fort Carson’s Mountaineer, Peterson Field’s Space Observer; Schriever Air Force’s Satellite Flyer and the Academy Spirit, the U.S. Air Force Academy newspaper.

The company will also publish the annual base guides for Peterson and Fort Carson.

“This represents our third significant investment in southern Colorado and its future,” Dolan said. With this latest acquisition, Dolan said this region is the company’s ninth largest employment center.

The military newspaper operations will merge with the downtown CSBJ and The Daily Transcript operations located at 31 E. Platte Ave.

The transfer of publishing rights from Gowdy to Dolan Media couldn’t be timelier as the CSBJ office prepares for a major renovation. Growth has dictated the makeover, said Lon Matejczyk, vice-president and publisher in charge of Dolan’s southern Colorado region.

“Paid circulation at the CSBJ is up 23.6 percent over the same month the previous year,” Matejczyk said. “The core mission of any business journal is economic development, and we are trying to do everything we can to act as a catalyst so this business community thrives.

“The Colorado Springs Business Journal has served the business community for 16 years, and the military’s impact on the Pikes Peak area businesses is significant. With the addition of these newspapers, there will be considerable synergies among our business and military publications.”

Matejczyk said Dolan Media is proud to serve the military community. Dolan Media’s Oklahoma City-based Journal Record Publishing Co. publishes the Tinker Take-Off, which serves the Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Okla.

The addition of the four Springs military newspapers would make Dolan Media one of the nation’s largest private publishers of civilian enterprise newspapers.

On Sept. 1, Dolan Media announced its largest acquisition in 10 years with the purchase of 14 law-related newspapers from Lawyers Weekly Inc. in Boston.

Dolan Media operates daily and weekly business newspapers, including court and commercial newspapers and business journals, in 21 U.S. markets.

- Marylou.Doehrman@csbj.com