Colorado Politics Expands With a New Focus on Denver

Just when you think veteran Denver journalists have seen their last rodeo in town, they’re back! Everywhere you turn, ghosts of Denver journalism past are staring at you.

That’s a good thing, of course, because everyone loves a good journalist with roots in the community–even if everyone doesn’t know it.

The latest re-emergent scribes will be found at Colorado Politics, a weekly print and online publication owned via Clarity Media by conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz.

The steadily-expanding outlet has added Neil Westergaard, a former editor of the Denver Business Journal and The Denver Post, to write an opinion column about Denver.

Also as part of its expansion to cover Denver politics and civic affairs, Colorado Politics hired former Rocky reporter John C. Ensslin, for a Denver politics, government and civic affairs beat.

Starting in tomorrow’s print edition, look for a “Focus on Denver” section that will feature city coverage–as well as digital content.

Colorado Politics has aimed to expand statewide through content-sharing arrangements with other publications. Such an arrangement with the Durango Herald ended in December, but the publication continues to share content with 9News.

No other content-sharing plans are in place at this time, said Jared Wright, General Manager of Colorado Politics, in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder.

“Our publication continues to attract readers from around the state and the country who value our in-depth public policy journalism, analysis and opinion on Centennial State politics, and now, on politics in the City and County of Denver,” said Wright.

Asked how he was going to prioritize coverage in such a big beat, especially given the reduced number of journalists competing with him, Ensslin said, “My approach is going to be the same one that has served me well all these years: Find the best story of the day. Do it.”

“At Colorado Politics, our mission has been to provide award-winning coverage of state politics and policy, and that will continue,” said Mark Harden, managing editor of Colorado Politics, in a news release. “But in today’s challenged media environment, our readers are in desperate need of in-depth, insightful reporting on the city of Denver, its government, its politics and its issues. Now, Colorado Politics is making moves to be the city’s go-to news source for Denver news that matters to our audience.”

“It’s the perfect match,” added Gazette Editor-in-Chief Vince Bzdek, who oversees the Colorado Politics editorial operation, in the news release, “one of the country’s most dynamic cities, chronicled by two of that city’s most dynamic, seasoned journalists. Get ready to understand the larger forces driving Denver – and the major players behind those forces – in a whole new way.”

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  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    How on earth could this combination be able to explain larger forces "in a whole new way"??? The editorial line up now appears to be:

    • Vince Bzdek – “an editor for several years at The Denver Post.”
    • Mark Harden, Managing editor, "formerly was news director of the Denver Business Journal, an editor at The Denver Post, …"
    • Joey Bunch, deputy managing editor, "Joey was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013"
    • Neil Westergaard, "a former editor of the Denver Business Journal and The Denver Post,"
    • John C. Ensslin, "a reporter for the former Denver daily Rocky Mountain News for a quarter-century and also was a reporter for The Gazette in Colorado Springs"

    If they wanted something new and different, perhaps… I don't know, someone who wasn't male, white and a long-term presence in Denver?   Or someone known for an attitude other than easy comfort with traditional politics and Colorado corporations? 

    For those of you MORE aware of the Colorado media scene, who would you suggest as a voice for a "whole new way"?

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