M.E. Sprengelmeyer, ex-Rocky writer, saves NM paper by expanding (& killing its website)

In February 2009, the Rocky Mountain News died just shy of its 150th anniversary, and even though the surviving Denver Post has picked up more of the tabloid's audience than anyone other than MediaNews Group's Dean Singleton would have guessed, big challenges remain, as editor Greg Moore made clear in a memo about better using a smaller staff.

M.E. Sprengelmeyer won't be sending any such e-mails. Once the Rocky's top political reporter, he spent his life savings to purchase a New Mexico weekly, the Guadalupe County Communicator. And as detailed in a new CNN report, Sprengelmeyer defied conventional wisdom by expanding the paper's reporting muscle even as he killed its website, because he thought it cannibalized circulation.

The Communicator does have a Facebook page, though, and in reference to the CNN piece, Sprengelmeyer quotes that great journalist Frank Zappa. "To Armes, to Armes, hooray, that's great...," he writes, in a reference's Nathan Armes and the Zappa tune "Dumb All Over." But Sprengelmeyer's looking anything but stupid these days. Check out CNN's take below:

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts