While Denver Post editor Lee Ann Colacioppo is new to the top newsroom position, she’s no stranger to the paper. She started working at the Post in 1999 as assistant city editor. She ran an enterprise team and worked her way through leadership roles such as city editor, investigations editor and was most recently news director.
Now, as editor of the largest newspaper in Denver (she also becomes the first woman to hold that spot), Colacioppo said she’s excited and has big plans for the publication. In order to combat the changing tides of the news industry, Colacioppo said the Post is facing the challenges head on.
While they’ve faced cutbacks and buyouts like many other papers, Colacioppo says the newsroom of around 100 employees has split into two major teams: the Now team and the Enterprise team.
“We can’t just keep using the same structures, the same methods, asking fewer and fewer people to take more on their shoulders. It was time to just start over about the way we were organized and think about what we needed to accomplish,” she said. “What we’re doing with those groups is trying to address the two big challenges that really face the industry right now.”
The Enterprise team will do “the kind of work that makes newspapers newspapers,” Colacioppo said. Those reporters will write about public policy and do investigative work. The Now team will focus more on analytics and what readers are searching for, including breaking news, and being active on social media and trending topics.
Although the transition to editor from news director was seamless, Colacioppo said the day former editor Gregory Moore resigned was a sad one. Moore left in April after 14 years.
“His presence was great in the newsroom. You could just feel him walking through it,” she said. “He was a good leader and a good editor.”
Moore led the staff to four Pulitzer Prizes, launched the popular marijuana focused website, the Cannabist, and started DPTV, the Post’s video unit.
“(He gave) me confidence in my own ideas, my own qualities, my own strategy,” Colacioppo said. “That really freed me to not feel like I have to walk in his shadow, but can forge my own way.”
As Colacioppo begins her tenure as editor she wants the Post to have the strongest voice in Denver, her staff to end their weeks invigorated and to avoid burn out by not asking too much of any individual, and to increase brand recognition in younger generations and grow audience.