Gazette will launch four-day-a-week newspaper

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Above is a prototype of Ink.

A prototype of Ink.

The Gazette will launch a free, four-day-a-week newspaper on May 6 that will cover downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs.

The newspaper, called Ink, will publish Wednesday through Saturday and 10,000 copies will be distributed each day to newspaper racks and stores in the three areas, said Gazette Vice President of Marketing Liz Cobb.

While the paper will consist mostly of news from the three areas, it also will include some regional daily news as well.

“It’s not an alternative paper,” Cobb said. “You can get sports and weather there also. We think this will serve the community well.”

Each edition will be 20 pages.

“Mixing targeted free publications with paid daily products certainly isn’t new, but it’s had mixed results,” said Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the Poynter Institute. “Some have been able to remain sustainable and make money, but others have failed miserably.”

Edmonds cited the Rocky Mountain News’ creation of YourHub, a community/citizen journalism newspaper and Web site franchise, as an example of a failing free daily model.

But, YourHub sites and papers are still in operation in seven states. The Gazette operates a YourHub Web site and publishes zoned YourHub sections in its daily paper.

Prior to YourHub, The Gazette operated a string of zoned, weekly, community newspapers called The Slice.

“The idea that newspapers have to be paid for to prove their worth has gone away,” Edmonds said. “Most free daily components are doing well these days.”

4 Responses to Gazette will launch four-day-a-week newspaper

  1. I am a Westsider and think this is a great idea! Where will the Ink be available…any ideas yet?
    Thank you.

    Dianna
    April 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

  2. Hi Dianna – you’ll have to call the Gazette to inquire about Ink’s distribution information. Thanks for reading.

    Rob Larimer
    April 21, 2009 at 8:46 am

  3. This is interesting information, but your story begs a few questions: 1 – How is it that the Gazette, which recently reduced the size of its daily (reportedly for financial reasons) suddenly can afford to publish a separate, free paper four days a week? 2 – Why the downtown, Old Colorado City and Manitou? What about elsewhere? I would think daily subscribers in other parts of town would feel shortchaged. 3 – Why is the Gazette doing this at all? Is it a shot at the Independent, at ourselves (the Westside Pioneer), or possibly other weeklies in that general area? Note the timing — a Wednesday-thru-Saturday schedule surrounds the Thursday-Friday printing of the weeklies. And 4- It’s curious that the Gazette itself has not yet announced this action, either in print or on its website, and today (4/21) is the day after your article appeared in my inbox.

    Kenyon Jordan
    April 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm

  4. Good questions, Kenyon. I think this idea is Publisher Steve Pope’s brainchild. I believe he did something like this, launching free zoned daily papers, while working at the Vail Daily. Pope was out of town yesterday and calls to Swift Communications, the Vail Daily’s owner, weren’t returned, so there was no way to confirm whether this is similar to what happened in Vail. And, since Pope was out of the office, there was no way to uncover what business motives might be behind Ink’s inception, however, I doubt anyone from the G is going to come on out and tell another media organization about its business strategies. The G’s marketing director Liz Cobb said Ink is not an alternative paper, so it doesn’t seem like they’re going after the Independent’s business. But, I don’t doubt that The Gazette would like to suck up some of the advertising dollars lying around between downtown and Manitou. It’s not unlike what they tried to do with The Slice.

    I too was surprised they haven’t announced anything yet. I thought they might post something shortly after I called. I’ll bet they haven’t said anything because Pope’s not back in the office yet.

    Rob Larimer
    April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm