By: Press Release | Dirks, Van Essen & Murray
Colorado Springs, CO – November 30, 2012 – The Anschutz Corp.’s Clarity Media Group on Friday announced the purchase of The Gazette from Freedom Communications Inc.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger and acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Freedom Communications in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.
Ryan McKibben, CEO of Clarity Media Group, will serve as chairman of The Gazette. One of his first decisions was to retain Dan Steever as president and publisher.
“Dan is an exceptional manager who has strengthened and grown every organization he’s led,” McKibben said in a news release. “Most of all, his passionate commitment to The Gazette makes him its ideal publisher.”
Steever became publisher in September after The Gazette and parent company Freedom were acquired by 2100 Trust in July. The Gazette was founded in 1872 and is the second largest daily newspaper in Colorado behind the Denver Post. It had been part of Freedom since 1946.
Clarity Media also owns the Washington Examiner daily newspaper in Washington, D.C. and The Weekly Standard magazine.
Clarity’s Examiner.com operates an international network of local news and information sites.
“The Gazette is one of our premier properties and an incredibly important institution. We were impressed with Clarity and how they share our belief in the value of The Gazette and investing in its health and growth,” Aaron Kushner, CEO of Freedom Communications, said in the news release.
The Anschutz Corp. owns another newspaper, The Oklahoman, the result of the company’s acquisition in 2011 of the assets of The Oklahoma Publishing Co. Those assets included The Broadmoor, as well as the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
McKibben on Friday also announced the appointment of Joe Hight as editor of The Gazette. Hight has been in journalism for more than 30 years and most recently served as managing editor of The Oklahoman and director of information and development for the organization.
“The Gazette has been an important part of the Colorado Springs community for 140 years,” McKibben said. “We intend to create a new level of excellence at The Gazette by adding additional news pages, growing circulation, improving digital capabilities and bringing more focus to local news that’s important to readers.”