Pilot & Today’s parent company sells to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers
Swift Communications, the parent company of Steamboat Pilot & Today, has sold to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers, the companies announced Tuesday.
The sale includes Pilot & Today’s sister newspapers in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California, and the transition is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Founded in 1890 by H.S. Ogden, the media company is fifth-generation, family-owned and operated. After the deal is complete, Ogden will publish 54 daily newspapers and several weekly magazines in 18 different states.
“We are excited for everyone on the call,” said Robert Nutting, CEO of Ogden Newspapers and the Nutting Co., to Swift Communications employees in a companywide call Tuesday morning. “We believe in these markets, these communities and these publications, and we believe that there is a strong future for community newspapers, for local journalism and for your markets.”
Nutting told employees about the company’s long legacy in journalism but also that he feels there is a bright future for local journalism.
“We really do love the industry and love newspapers,” Nutting said.
The transition will take place over the next month, with the sale finalized Dec. 31. In that time, employees will reapply for their jobs, though Nutting said a large part of the decision to buy Swift was to be able to work with the existing staff.
Ogden has newspapers across the United States but none in Colorado. The nearest papers are in Utah, including the Daily Herald in Provo. Like many media companies, including Swift, Ogden furloughed staff companywide during the early months of the pandemic, according to the Poynter Institute.
Founded in 1975, Swift Communications has operated magazines, newspapers, websites, book publishing and other digital products across the West. In Colorado, that includes the Steamboat Pilot & Today, The Aspen Times, Snowmass Sun, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Vail Daily, Summit Daily News, Craig Daily Press and Sky-Hi News. It also includes publications in Park City, Utah; Lake Tahoe and Grass Valley, California; and Carson City, Nevada.
Swift acquired Pilot & Today and the nearby Craig Daily Press in 2016 from then owner WorldWest. At that same time, WorldWest sold other publications it owned, including its flagship Lawrence Journal-World, to Ogden.
“As we started down this path, finding the right buyer was such a critical piece of it, as well,” said Bill Waters, CEO and chairman of the board for Swift, in the companywide meeting. “(Ogden) has a substantial newspaper and publishing business, and importantly, it is a company that is very committed to local communities and local journalism.”
Financial terms of the deal have not been released.
The deal includes the name Swift Communications, and Ogden will continue to use the name. After the sale, Swift will become Questor Corp. and continue to operate Acres USA, Breaking Ground Institute and a portfolio of commercial and residential real estate properties.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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