An interesting offer -- but what it might portend is more intriguing. After all, Examiner.com is the online arm of Denver gazillionaire Phil Anschutz's Examiner newspaper project, which got its start in 2004, when Anschutz purchased the venerable San Francisco Examiner. Since then, Anschutz has launched Examiners in Washington D.C. and Baltimore as free, home-delivered daily newspapers.
Could Denver be next for a similar product? The city isn't the likeliest choice for such a launch, since it already has two daily newspapers, the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, that remain viable, if not as profitable as they once were. (As noted in this article by the News' Roger Fillon, Scripps, the Rocky's parent company, lost $3 million bucks on the Denver tab during the second quarter of 2006.) Then again, Anschutz has trademarked the Examiner name here, as well as in more than sixty other cities, and Denver remains his hometown.
Besides, there's already a Denver page at Examiner.com; it's one of twenty cities without a print-edition Examiner to be so honored. There's not much local content yet; today's home page lists six top Colorado stories, all ripped from the Associated Press wire -- and one of them, about Governor Bill Owens signing an immigration bill, dates back to July 31. But the infrastructure is in place to do more with this page -- like, perhaps, add blogs specific to Denver.
It's impossible to know for certain what's next on the horizon, since Anschutz, despite owning a newspaper chain, is notoriously press shy. Still, the ad above is certainly worth further examination. -- Michael Roberts