^
Keep Westword Free
4
| Media |

The Colorado Independent is downsizing but not disappearing

The Colorado Independent laid off much of its staff yesterday.

The Colorado Independent, a state-based satellite website funded by the Washington, D.C.'s Center For Independent Media, is shrinking in order to survive. That's the bottom line according to David Bennahum, CIM's president and CEO, who responded to an inquiry prompted by a PolitickerCo.com report. That piece, penned by Jeremy Pelzer, stated that six Colorado Independent employees were laid off Monday in a restructuring move that coincided with similar cuts at the Minnesota Independent, a sister site. No layoffs have been announced at four other affiliates, in Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico and Washington.

Bennahum answered a series of e-mail questions about the Independent, with his replies touching on the theory behind the layoffs at the politically progressive site. He also addresses the future of the operation in the wake of widespread Democratic wins on election day. Click "More" to read his comments. -- Michael Roberts

Westword (Michael Roberts): Are the reports about the layoffs contained in the [the PolitickerCo.com article linked above] accurate?

David Bennahum: The number of people is accurate.

WW: If so, what are the reasons for the layoffs?

DB: We are reorganizing to ultimately have more fulltime writers on the site. It will take several months to get there.

WW: In the past, Colorado Independent representatives have emphasized that the organization is meant to be a permanent part of the media landscape, as opposed to something temporary that would no longer be necessary after the election. Is that still the philosophy, or has your point of view on that topic changed?

DB: We are a permanent part of the landscape. With these changes, we expect that we'll have the same number of stories per week as we currently do. After all, we've been here through two election cycles. So we know there'll be plenty to cover between now and 2010.

WW: Given the success of Democratic candidates nationally and in Colorado, does the Colorado Independent still have an important role to play?

DB: Yes. Covering the state legislature, and the looming topic of redistricting, along with important issues on the front burner: such as the economy, environment, energy.

WW: Does the Center For Independent Media remain committed to maintaining the presence of the Colorado Independent over the long haul?

DB: Definitely. These changes will increase our ability to report on current events. We expect the site to thrive.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

WW: Given similar reports about layoffs at your Minnesota project, are plans to expand to other cities and states now on the back burner?

DB: No. We are restructuring our sites to be more efficient. This reorganization will help us to grow to more states in the next 2 years. Our plans are 4-6 by the end of 2010.

WW: If not, do you have specific dates for launches — or will that be dictated by economic conditions?

DB: We have no specific dates for new states. But we anticipate at least one new program by Q2-09.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.