Anschutz buys Colorado newspaper; The Oklahoman's Hight named Editor

Oklahoman Published: November 30, 2012

The Colorado Springs Gazette has been purchased by entities controlled by Philip Anschutz who also owns The Oklahoma Publishing Company, OPUBCO Communications Group, The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com.

Ryan McKibben, CEO of Clarity Media, also owned by Anschutz, made the announcement Friday. The Gazette was sold by Freedom Newspapers of Irvine, Calif.

“This is an exciting announcement,” said Chris Reen, president of OPUBCO Communications Group and publisher of The Oklahoman. “When Phil Anschutz purchased The Oklahoman as part of OPUBCO 14 months ago, he made clear his belief in the importance of the newspaper business and his plan to be in it for the long haul. This newest acquisition reaffirms his commitment to the industry and its viability. We feel great about it at The Oklahoman.”

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Gazette was founded in 1872 and was acquired by Freedom Communications in 1946. The Gazette is the second largest daily newspaper in Colorado behind the Denver Post, with a daily circulation of 74,172 and a Sunday circulation of 85,718.

A veteran reporter and editor from The Oklahoman, Joe Hight, will be named as The Gazette's editor after the acquisition. Hight has 30 years of journalism experience. He also concentrated on the online development of NewsOK.com.

Hight led information efforts that include the “Know It” online communities and “Your Right to Know” projects, which won the national Society of Professional Journalists' “Public Service in Online Journalism” awards as well as regional, state and national First Amendment awards.

While at The Oklahoman in 1995, he was team leader for victim coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing that won two Society of Professional Journalists awards, a national Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Violence and many other awards.

Hight later served for two terms as president of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, an international organization based at Columbia University with offices in London and Melbourne. He authored and co-authored print and online booklets and columns that are still used by the Dart Center, including “Tragedies & Journalists: A Guide for More Effective Coverage” that has been translated into three different languages and is being updated for its second edition in 2011.

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