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January 25, 2023 10:26 AM UTC

The Real Southern Invasion: Anschutz Gazette vs. The Denver Post

  • by: Colorado Pols

A new social media ad campaign from the Denver Gazette, a recently-launched pseudopod of the conservative-leaning Colorado Springs Gazette owned by Republican billionaire major donor Phil Anschutz, is prompting widespread backlash as an unseemly disparagement of a fellow news outlet’s journalistic integrity:

These new ads directly targeting the Denver Post, Colorado’s longstanding newspaper of record and despite its own struggles to remain in operation consistently delivering some of the best news content in the state, are just the latest development in the Gazette’s parent company Clarity Media’s well-funded attempt to wedge itself into the Denver news market with slanted news coverage and the most outrageous fringe-right editorial board west of the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. It’s a strategy that Anschutz formerly tried and failed with the Washington Examiner, which will never supplant the Washington Post no matter how hard they try:

The Fox News-style “fair and balanced” message from the Gazette makes it plain what audience they are pandering to, namely conservatives who have been taught to instinctively reject news outlets who report things they don’t like–but that isn’t as much of a surprise as the Gazette openly attacking the integrity of another news outlet to attract that audience. This is potentially very damaging to the Gazette’s remaining credible news reporters and their relationships with colleagues, as well as possible collateral damage to the Gazette’s partnership with Denver’s leading local television station 9NEWS.

And why is it happening, you ask? From what we can see in the statistics from the last six months compiled by SEMRush, the Denver Gazette is failing miserably in its attempt to penetrate the Denver media market.

According to these stats, in the last six months, while other Denver news outlets enjoyed healthy election-year boosts in their web traffic, the Denver Gazette basically cratered. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying, with the Gazette’s parent company Clarity Media spending big on billboards and other ad formats in addition to the social media ads highlighted above over the past two years since it launched.

In the context of the Denver Gazette’s failure to thrive in the Denver media market, these attacks are even more pathetic, enough to give us pause about amplifying their quest for attention. But with a major municipal election around the corner, Denver voters need to be aware of the Gazette’s true purpose, which is to supply friendly coverage and ad quotes for Phil Anschutz’s right-wing political objectives. There is no parallel between those ulterior motives and the newsroom at the Denver Post, which has taken on its own hedge fund owners when necessary. Compare that to the dead silence from the Gazette’s properties about Phil Anschutz’s lawsuits to claw back millions from Colorado tax coffers.

This desperate attack by a clearly failing venture deserves to backfire.

Take this garbage back to Colorado Springs.


16 thoughts on “The Real Southern Invasion: Anschutz Gazette vs. The Denver Post

  1. The Washington Examiner just went to a subscription model. You can expect a huge decline in traffic.

    The Denver Post has opened most of its content to everyone and as a non-subscriber,  I can easily comment. I have added the DP to my daily rotation as there are always 1-2 local stories of interest.

    I don't visit the Colorado Sun website often as they don't allow comments.

    Colorado Politics deletes comments they don't like. So, screw them.

  2. If I had a story to pitch, why the hell would I ever go to the Gazette instead of the Post? The numbers don't lie. Pitch the Gazette if you want your story to die.

    If the Gazette asks for an exclusive, laugh at them.

  3. “We’re not the Denver Post”. They say that like it’s a good thing. Knowing who’s behind it, I wouldn’t trust it as far as I do Colorado Politics, formerly the Colorado Statesman. This is not a good way to build up their readership. I wonder who suggested it was?



    1. Seems like "We're not the DP" might appeal to the "lamestream media" haters who probably already don't like the Post but might not know there's a Denver Gazette. Maybe there's a tiny upside to this ad campaign, maybe.

      (PS – news stories posted on the Denver Gazette homepage are to a fairly large percentage bylined as from Colorado Politics.)

  4. The Post is no better. It basically gave up copy-editing and seems to focus mostly on the Broncos and the AP feed. There was a time when the Denver Post really was the voice of the Rocky Mountain Region. Those days are long past. Today it's a shadow of that legacy and a poor one at that.

    You are right, though, about the Denver Gazette. What a joke that rag is. 

    The best of the Denver options? By far, the Colorado Sun. And don't overlook Colorado Newsline. Both are very good.

    1. Agreed, but would like to throw a bone to Denverite. Not saying it's better than the Post/Sun/Newsline, but it's very Denver local-focused so you get more stuff about individual or neighborhood issues. The Post/Sun/Newsline/G*z*tte do much more on the top-down big gubmint stuff than the hyperlocal.

  5. The Gazette publishes Out There Colorado, a near daily e-newsletter about outdoor recreation, tourism, wildlife, and similar topics. It's pretty good. They do accept comments, but one needs to log in for that.

  6. Lookit…the Gazettes and Colorado Politics are nothing more than ThinkTankPravda. Pseudo-journalists like Jimmy Sengenberger have radio shows, pen articles for Clarity Media and get pseudo-awards from America First Institute and Independence Institute. I recently got an offer for 6 mos of the Denver Gazette for $1…no thanks.    

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