From hot lead type to digital publishingFrom hot lead type to digital publishing and every printing method in between, The Chronicle-News in Trinidad, Colorado has been a part of it. When Trinidad was nothing but a mining camp, The Chronicle-News was there to report the latest coal production. When Bat Masterson was the Sheriff of Las Animas County, The Chronicle-News was here to publish the blotter. The Chronicle-News has been a part of the life of generations of people in this beautiful mountain desert town.
One of the oldest continuously published newspapers in ColoradoThe Chronicle-News is one of the oldest continuously published newspapers in Colorado. Since 1877 this newspaper is still the place to go for up to the moment local, regional and state news. The only newspaper in Trinidad to provide daily service, publication is Monday through Friday, with Friday's Weekend Edition providing information for all upcoming Saturday and Sunday events.
A history of service to our communityWe are proud of the long-standing history of service we offer our community and our surrounding neighbors. Integrity is the foundation on which we have built our reputation of excellence for more than 132 years.
We are now proud to be locally owned and operated!
As we reported yesterday, The Chronicle-News, one of Trinidad’s longest standing institutions, has new ownership. As such, and as a staff, our employment through American Press and the Shearman family ended and we were offered employment through the new locally owned corporation Chronicle-News Media, LLC. By Thursday morning we had all accepted.
Those staff members include Features Editor Catherine J. Moser (over nine years with The Chronicle-News), Reporter Steve Block (five years with the newspaper) and Editor Eric Monson (four years). Advertising lead Kirk Loudon (less than a year with the newspaper) is now a member of our new local ownership group, which also includes wife Julie Loudon and their long time friends Rich and Kim Hoffman.
“I am all on board,” said Steve Block Thursday morning confirming his commitment.
“I don’t think, if this was happening with anyone else, I would be this excited, but I am, this is historic, and just feels so right” said Cathy Moser Wednesday afternoon vocalizing the faith that has been cultivated in our new ownership team over the last few months spent working together.
On Wednesday afternoon The Chronicle-News celebrated the transfer of ownership with champagne toasts and pizza. At the end of the day, Moser ceremoniously asked each new owner to take part in the final steps of publishing Wednesday’s publication sending it off in the four cardinal directions of our printing partners at the Pueblo Chieftain, to our website and electronic edition, to our partners at the Colorado Press Association and to our archives.
“We are excited to keep our team together here at The Chronicle-News,” said Kirk Loudon. “We’ve learned a lot from each other in the last few months and we look forward to continuing to grow together.”
Wednesday’s celebration represented the crossing of a finish line in a race that began in earnest roughly this time last year. As Tom Shearman said in yesterday’s announcement, “(Local ownership of The Chronicle-News) is really important to us. After 75 years of ownership, selling The Chronicle-News was not an easy decision for our family. There is not a succeeding generation of our family working in the business, so we came to the very difficult decision a year ago that selling was the best option for our employees and the Las Animas County communities.”
It was a shared belief that the best situation for the newspaper and for this community would be to find local, stable and sustainable ownership for The Chronicle-News.
Finding that type of ownership was definitely not the easy route. A survey of the print media landscape in this country reveals how rare local and involved ownership is for newspapers in general, much less rural, community newspapers. Conglomerate ownership is much more likely.
To protect our independence and continue this newspapers historic legacy our ownership would need to be the same people doing the work of designing and placing your advertisements, covering your events and making sure your paper is delivered. They would need to be financially stable enough to purchase the newspaper, skilled enough to operate it and crazy enough to dive into our deadline-driven world.
We are proud to announce that is exactly what we got. All four owners work out of The Chronicle-News offices. They all have experiences in the areas we need: sales, design, bookkeeping and accounting. Kim Hoffman has dived into our circulation, classifieds, memorials, obituaries and legals, as have the rest of them. Kirk and Rich have both tackled sales, with Kirk designing ads and the two of them also learning our legal functions. Meanwhile, Julie has been handling paper work for the sale, learning what Kim has learned at our front desk and focusing on accounting and bookkeeping.
Not long after I assumed general manager duties here, I hired Kirk to handle our advertising. We’ve known each other as long as I’ve been at the paper and in Trinidad. First, he and Julie were behind the local film festival Trindie Fest. Then they were the couple producing a horror film in Trinidad (with a scene filmed in my bedroom and in front of another Shearman family landmark the Toltec apartments). Kirk and I bonded some over music (you might see him behind a drum set for several local bands) and then he introduced me to Kim and Rich Hoffman, he and Julie’s long-time friends. We hoped in the beginning that they could help us with our outside sales, but we may have dropped hints to something more.
Kim revealed Wednesday that after one of those meetings, she slugged Kirk on the arm and exclaimed, “WE should buy the newspaper!”
Meanwhile, Kirk, Julie and I attended the annual Colorado Press Association convention in Colorado Springs. I believe the fire was further stoked there, as we met our partners at the press association and heard the stories from several new newspaper owners and jotted notes during excited conversation in the hotel bar. Either way an idea came to shape and took hold and drove us to where we are today: Proud, exhausted, excited for the future and admittedly a touch nervous.
We’ve become accustomed to having our big brother and big sisters in Louisiana being just a phone call away, so yes striking out on our own brings with it a touch of fear. Yet the staff at American Press is continuing to prepare us and we are confident we will be ready to bring that work back home.
“We are very appreciative of the former owners being supportive and allowing their staff to continue to provide help, support and guidance,” said Kim Hoffman. “We hope the community supports us and bears with us during this transition, but we know when we get to the other side, we will be able to offer the community more products with better and more knowledgeable service.”
We will also recommit to being stewards of this community, its past and its future. You will see more of us and you will see us doing more. We will promote the community more vigorously, while also continuing to protect its history. As journalists, we are sworn to oppose wrong and injustice and plead for the rights of humanity with the aid of truth. That will never change.
What has changed is that the people now at the helm of this institution are now also your neighbors. We are proud of that. And also proud of you, the members of the community where we live.
A note from our owners The Chronicle-News Media Group
Starting Thursday, November 1, The Chronicle News will have new faces at the helm. Locals Kim and Rich Hoffman and Kirk and Julie Loudon have become the new owners of our hometown newspaper. With the new players, will be some new and exciting changes.
The Chronicle News will become The Chronicle News Media Group, to offer more advertising and marketing options for our local businesses and clients.
The focus of the paper will be local news and events to make our city and region the cornerstone of the publication. Plus, we will deliver an up-to-date social media and web presence to bring our paper into the 21st century.
All of us at the Chronicle News are looking forward to the future and hope that the community will support our endeavors.
Please feel free to contact the paper for more details at 719-846-3311.