Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paid paper in Colorado launches free daily

Colorado, the state with the most free dailies, is getting yet another one.

The paid Colordo Springs Gazette announced Tuesday that on May 6 it will launch a new, free, four-day a week newspaper targeted at the city's downtown and west side and Manitou Springs.

The new publisher of The Gazette is Steve Pope, formerly of the Vail Daily, one of the first free dailies. Pope replaced Scott McKibben, who had previously headed the San Francisco Examiner, also a free daily. So it's our guess that the concept of free dailies had been talked about at The Gazette for quite a while.

Today's announcement suggests the creation of Ink is both a defensive and offensive move.

• Defensive in the sense that Colorado Springs is a ripe market for a free daily in a state where most of the other major cities already have them — Ink will make it less likely that somebody else will start a free paper in the Springs.

• Offensive in that it will attempt to attract small advertisers who can't afford the paid Gazette.

The printing schedule will be different than other papers — Ink will appear Wednesday through Saturday, hitting the days that advertisers have gradually moved toward in other newspapers.