From the publisher: With change comes progress
Steamboat Springs — Change in life, and in business, is inevitable. Yesterday marked a big change for the Steamboat Pilot & Today when it said goodbye to a tradition dating back more than 100 years. We began printing the newspaper at the Colorado Mountain News Media (CMNM) production plant in Gypsum. In our history, we’ve always printed locally.
Nine jobs were eliminated as a result of moving the printing. Each of these employees was offered an opportunity to apply for openings in Gypsum but none chose to do so. And each was provided with a generous transitional compensation package.
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank our co-workers whom we will say good-bye to on Oct. 31, and the rest of our team members, who have been incredibly diligent and dedicated in transitioning Steamboat Pilot & Today to a new printer while continuing their normal extraordinary work on behalf of our readers, advertisers and the community.
Moving the printing was a business decision resulting from Swift Communications’ acquisition of Steamboat Pilot & Today on Aug. 1. CMNM is Swift’s Rocky Mountain division, and we are now part of that media group. The acquisition did not include ownership of the building we occupy, and soon WorldWest, former owner of Steamboat Pilot & Today, will list the real estate for sale. We’ve begun the process of searching for a new home, and we expect to move in early summer 2017.
The words “Swift’s Rocky Mountain division” and the acronym “CMNM” may prompt visions of a large and impersonal organization. Quite to the contrary, Swift is a small family-owned company that does business in communities mostly the size of Steamboat Springs. Swift offers us significantly more resources than we’ve had in the past — from training, to innovation, to up-to-date technology.
Being a part of this solid, forward-thinking company is particularly important in a rapidly changing media environment where making the right decisions means ensuring continued success of your local newspaper, providing readers with relevant local content and area businesses with effective platforms to reach customers with marketing messages.
You might wonder what this change means to you.
It means every page of the Steamboat Pilot & Today will now be printed in full color, giving us the opportunity to better serve our advertising customers and better display stories and photos created by our award-winning news team.
It also means our deadlines have changed. We are now finishing our edition at 10:30 p.m. nightly, rather than at midnight, to ensure the paper will be on newsstands at 6 a.m. every morning.
From time to time, the earlier deadline might mean we can’t get a full report on every sporting event taking place in Routt County the night before, but SteamboatToday.com will fill that void. You’ll get up-to-the-minute scores and game highlights via our social media platforms — Facebook and Twitter — and also online and through our news app once the game ends.
This shift to an earlier deadline will ultimately improve the quality and content of our print and online editions. Steamboat Pilot & Today has long prided itself on being a digital-first newspaper, and changing where and when the newspaper is printed won’t impact our dedication to providing readers with the information and news they need when they need it and how they want to read it.
Our new owners also operate daily newspapers in Aspen, Summit County, Vail and Glenwood Springs, and ownership by Swift has opened up opportunities to collaborate with other mountain communities in new and inventive ways to serve both our readers and advertisers. Recently, editors of these publications developed a shared coverage plan for the November election, which included introduction of Scribble Live, a new tool that allows readers to contribute to our coverage by adding their voices. We piloted this program at an Oct. 20 election forum, and we’ll use the platform again to enhance election coverage on Nov. 8.
One thing is certain; Steamboat Pilot & Today will remain your community newspaper. We will retain local decision-making, our own look, our own identity and our own team of talented professionals.
We are committed to being your number one source for news and information, and to continue in that important role, we must be relevant to our readers. Our viability is linked directly to how well we engage with our readers, and how we reach you — in print, online and through our social media channels.
Benjamin Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” We are changing, and we are most definitely not finished. If you have ideas of how we can better serve you, let me know. I value your feedback.
To reach publisher Suzanne Schlicht, call 970-871-4224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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