Conservative billionaire businessman Philip Anschutz has defied the growing sentiment that newspapers are a dying business by buying Colorado's second biggest newspaper and promising to hire more staff and beef up its coverage.
Anschutz, reported to be worth $7 billion, this week closed on the Colorado Springs Gazette through his Clarity Media Group.
“People in the newsroom, especially people who’ve been here at the long time, remember a day when the newspaper was thicker,” Gazette publisher Dan Steever told the Denver Business Journal
. “And they’re going to be excited to get back to that.”
Clarity Media also says it plans to increase the number of pages of the newspaper and expand its website and online presence.
Anschutz is known as one of America’s most respected and successful entrepreneurs. He is co-founder of Major League Soccer and also owns stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings.
In addition, he owns more than half of Regal Entertainment Group, the largest chain of movie theaters in the world, and invests in family movies like “The Chronicles of Narnia.’’
His media group runs The Washington Examiner and Weekly Standard magazine.
"We are going to add, initially, over 30 pages of news hole a week," Ryan McKibben, chief executive of Clarity, told the Denver Post.
"Initially we are thinking we'll probably increase our reporting staff close to 20 percent."
The Colorado Springs Gazette, which has a daily circulation of more than 74,000, has won its share of newspaper accolades. In 1990, Gazette reporter Dave Curtain won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
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