Denver Post Kills Viva Colorado, Big Names Expected to Take Buyout

A screen capture from a promotional spot touting Viva Colorado. The video and more below.
A screen capture from a promotional spot touting Viva Colorado. The video and more below.

Viva Colorado, a Denver Post publication aimed at the Hispanic community, will publish its last issue on July 31.

The paper's death is the latest indication that the Post is cutting back in a major way, and it isn't stopping with personnel alone.

Last month, we reported about the latest Denver Post buyout offer — a deal bean counters hope will be accepted by twenty employees.

Management reserves the right to go beyond that number. But even if the departures stop there, the approximately 165-person staff will be reduced by well over 10 percent.

Since then, Lynn Bartels, arguably the best Colorado reporter of her generation, has announced that she's taking the package. She's already landed a new gig with the Colorado Secretary of State's office.

We're not sharing the names of others sources tell us are splitting, too, since they haven't publicly confirmed their plans — and the offer gives them the opportunity to change their minds. But among those staffers expected to head out the doors are some of the biggest names at the paper.

Moreover, a number of them work in a specific section of the Post that could be devastated if everyone we hear is going actually does.

As for Viva Colorado, this isn't the first time it's been targeted amid a buyout. Back in 2012, we noted that VC editor and publisher Rowena Alegria and another staffer had been laid off. "Technically, they both worked directly for the business side," Post editor Greg Moore noted at the time, "but they operated out of the newsroom."

Viva continued to publish, though, and on its website, the Post is still touting it at this writing with pitches like this one:

REACH OUR FASTEST-GROWING MARKET WITH THE DENVER POST AND VIVA COLORADO

Colorado is home to 1,142,611 Hispanics, a demographic segment that is young, upwardly mobile and growing every day. 23 percent of Metro Denver is Latino - over 674,000 Hispanics living in the seven-county Metro Denver area. And 8 out 10 live in Adams, Arapahoe or Denver counties, or in Lakewood, where Viva Colorado is home-delivered every Friday. And where do these exciting customers look for news, features, entertainment and discounts every week? Viva Colorado and VivaColorado.com.

That message is reinforced by the following media kit:

The end is near, however, as indicated by the following e-mail sent out by Viva Colorado's current editor and publisher, Diego Aparicio.

Colleagues, partners and friends,

Yesterday we announced that The Denver Post decided to cease operations of Viva Colorado, its Hispanic weekly launched in 2006 and that consistently hit racks — and later homes — with one of the strongest Hispanic weekly publications in the Denver metropolitan area.

Viva Colorado will print its last edition next Friday, July 31.

During its nine years serving Hispanics in the Denver metro area, Viva Colorado won more than 20 accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists, Best of the West, National Association of Hispanic Publishers and Colorado Press Association — 11 times for first place for best news coverage, features, design, etc.

VivaColorado.com won the EPPY Editor and Publisher award three years in a row (2011, 2012, and 2013) for best Spanish news website under 1 million unique users. It’s not clear whether the company will keep Vivacolorado.com running.

The Denver Post will continue to reach Hispanics via Denverpost.com, where it averages about 550,000 Spanish speaking unique users monthly. The Denver Post also enjoys a readership of about 109,000 Latinos who read its print edition every Sunday and about 51,000 who read it Monday through Friday.

I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for your support to Viva Colorado, whether it was as a news source, community partner or business with vested interests in the Hispanic community here in Denver.

After Viva Colorado shuts down, I will part ways with The Denver Post. However, I can still be reached via Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook.

It was a pleasure working with you in so many news and community projects, and I am sure we’ll meet again soon.

Best regards,

Diego Aparicio

This message is a far cry from the one delivered in a 2010 promotional video for Viva Colorado. The contrast between then and now could not be more stark. See it below.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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