Denver Post's decision to sell stake in Colorado Rockies not sign of financial turmoil, CEO says
Last week, the Denver Post announced a desire to sell its 7.3 percent stake in the Colorado Rockies -- an asset acquired due to the Rocky Mountain News's 2009 closure. A knowledgeable source tells Westword this move was motivated by dire financial problems at the Post -- ones serious enough that they could lead to bankruptcy. But Post CEO Ed Moss denies this assertion while highlighting what he sees as progress in improving the paper's economics.
Tulo at bat.
"There couldn't be anything further from the truth," Moss says about Chapter 11 fears -- concerns likely stoked by the September bankruptcy filing by the Journal Register Company, a sister firm of MediaNews Group, the Post's owner. "The attempt to potentially sell our stake really has everything to do with what I stated in our press release, and what John Paton" -- MediaNews Group's CEO, as well as the Journal Register Company's top dog -- "has been talking about, which is that we're focusing on our core business. And we're actually making great strides at improving our position overall."
Moss, who came to the Post after serving as the publisher and president of the San Diego Union-Tribune from 2009 to 2011, points to the figures contained in the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report, made public in late October. The complete press release on that topic is below, but highlights include a 19 percent pageview increase to the paper's website, contributing to a huge total of 72 million, plus a 32 percent boost in mobile pageviews and hefty rises in readership among tablet users and visitors to the Post's digital replica edition. Circulation as a whole is also up incrementally, thanks in part to new ABC accounting methods that pair some of those digital figures with ones related to print copies.
"We've stabilized our print business, we're showing tremendous growth in our digital business, and we're seeing audience growth in the combination of the digital and print business," Moss notes. "If you look at our total audience, we're number ten in the entire U.S., and we're fourth in the nation when you look at newspaper publications."
In addition, Moss goes on, "we're making great strides on the revenue side" -- the rub for newspapers, which have more readers than ever, but have found it challenging to monetize all those eyeballs.
Continue to read more of our interview with Denver Post CEO Ed Moss.