A return to your Aspen Times | AspenTimes.com

A return to your Aspen Times

Jenna Weatherred
Aspen Times publisher
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Two years ago, we combined parts of The Aspen Times and Glenwood Springs Post Independent as a reaction to the economic downturn. This provided additional value for our advertisers during a time when most needed creative solutions to get through an unpredictable time. We also felt that, with so many people commuting up and down the valley each day, Aspen Times readers would be interested in receiving more information from downvalley communities.

In the process, we learned that readers did want more downvalley information, but it was a specific type of information. For example, readers told us they wanted to read about new oil and gas regulations in Garfield County, but they weren’t as interested in what the New Castle City Council discussed at its last meeting.

As the economy began to recover during the first quarter of 2011, we began to hear that our readers and advertisers were not as satisfied with the Times as they had been for the past 18 months. They missed their old newspaper, one with fewer pages but more focused content and advertising. Our papers had become larger and harder to navigate. Readers felt that it was harder to find “their news” and advertisers felt that their ads were being lost.

To make sure we were hearing correctly, we hired an outside agency to survey our readers, who confirmed this opinion. In fact, of the 1,100 readers who responded to the online survey, nearly 2-to-1 said they felt the pre-recession Aspen Times served them better. We then began working to separate the Times and the Post Independent by taking what we have learned, and combining it with our traditional model.

On June 9, 2011, we will separate the papers to improve our publications and deliver your advertisements to a more invested audience. For advertisers, this means an opportunity to choose if you want additional readership, rather than being automatically charged for the full regional distribution.

The one exception is the classified section, which will remain combined to give ad buyers a wider reach on classified ads for the same price.

For readers, you will find that The Aspen Times will be more focused on our community and local content. We will offer a more in-depth calendar and an intensely local section, including the opinion section, at the front of the paper. When we do offer stories from other communities, they will be of the type you told us you were interested in.

I hope you will all be pleased with these changes. Both The Aspen Times and Post Independent will still be available in racks up and down the valley and online at aspentimes.com and postindependent.com, in case you do in fact want to know what crazy thing PI columnist Heidi Rice told her husband this week. If there are some things that you still feel we haven’t gotten right, please call me, 429-9120. I want to hear about it. This is how we get better.

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