Shine On

The creative breakup of former business collaborators leads to one new magazine, with another on the way. Can the city support both of them?

Their current enterprise won't be a vacation — not with so many other budding publishers waiting in the wings. For example, Brandi Shigley, winner of a 2005 Westword MasterMind award, is combining forces with Locality Production's Matt Gillespie and Denise Serafini to unleash Fabricate, a fashion publication that's slated to arrive online at on December 1. Shigley hopes a print companion will supplement the site next year.

Nonetheless, Ledwitz isn't worried about an oversaturated market, since he feels Denver currently has fewer magazines than it should. "The lack of publications for a city this size is kind of crazy," he says. Neither is he afraid of competition from Shine. "I'm glad they made one huge mistake — getting rid of Dahlia," he says, before adding, "Denver is going to be for Denverites. We're not going to stick a famous face on the cover that has no bearing on the city."

Sorry, Mr. Clooney. Looks like you'll have to settle for the front of People from here on out.

Getting their share: The Rocky Mountain News and the Colorado Springs Gazette are competitors to a certain degree; the Rocky circulates a few thousand copies in the Springs, where the Gazette is the primary daily. But for well over a month, the papers have been working together — running articles complete with original bylines from the other publication.

The agreement means savings for the Rocky, whose venerable Colorado Springs bureau reporter, Dick Foster, accepted a buyout earlier this year, leaving the position vacant. Even so, Rocky editor/publisher/president John Temple believes the pact serves readers as well as accountants. "It's better because it's quicker," he says. "We're not waiting on a wire service. We get the content in real time."

Gazette editor Jeff Thomas feels likewise. His paper benefits less budget-wise, since both of its Denver-based reporters — one assigned to cover the Statehouse, the other on the Broncos beat — remain in place. But "we look at this as a way to augment news coverage," he says. "It allows us to put state news into our metro section to a degree that we couldn't just by relying on the Associated Press."

Thomas adds that "there's a fair amount of trust at work in this relationship. We basically say that as soon as we post something online, you can have it for your paper. They can edit it if they wish to fit their own needs. And we can do likewise." This arrangement shifts if website scoops predate physical publication. According to Thomas, "If the Rocky is reporting something online and we haven't gone to press, we'll publish a link with a blurb saying, 'You can read the whole story in the Rocky Mountain News,' so they can have the benefit of the traffic."

Temple emphasizes that the Rocky will send its reporters south if a story is Ted Haggard-sized. But for more routine matters, he thinks the new model makes sense fiscally and qualitatively. Far from being the wave of the future, he says, "it's the wave of the present."

After all, competition can be pricey.

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