Parent company of Aspen Times sells to Ogden Newspapers
Swift Communications, the parent company of The Aspen Times and other Colorado mountain town newspapers, is selling its local media and publishing businesses to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers, the companies announced Tuesday morning.
Ogden Newspapers is a fifth generation family-owned and operated newspaper company, founded in 1890 by H.C Ogden. In his announcement, Robert Nutting, CEO of Ogden Newspapers and The Nutting Company, reiterated his family’s commitment to the industry and the critical role of community newspapers.
The deal is scheduled to close Dec. 31, and with the acquisition, Ogden Newspapers will publish 54 daily newspapers and a number of weekly newspapers and magazines in 18 states.
“We are the proud successor owners of a great newspaper in The Aspen Times that has served its community so well for decades,” Nutting said. “The Aspen Times has a legacy of strong local journalism that we are privileged to continue.
“We are particularly excited to be working with a team at The Times that has been recognized as an innovator in community journalism. We’re sure we will learn much from the dedicated employees who will be joining our team.”
Founded in 1975, the second- and third-generation family-owned Swift Communications has operated magazines, newspapers, websites, book publishing and other digital products in western state cities. In Colorado, that includes the Times and Snowmass Sun, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Vail Daily, Summit Daily News, Steamboat Pilot, Craig Press and Sky-Hi News near Winter Park. Swift also included publications and offices in Park City, Utah; Lake Tahoe and Grass Valley, California; and Carson City, Nevada.
“The publications, communities and most of all the great people who have been a part of our company since its founding in 1975 will be very much missed,” Bill Waters, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Swift Communications, said in the announcement. “We know the time has come to pass the baton of stewardship to new owners who can carry forward the important mission.”
Ogden Newspapers will continue Swift’s focus of publishing newspapers that provide unique and compelling local content to readers and value to the newspaper’s business partners, Nutting added.
“We also are excited for the opportunity to work with and serve the businesses in these markets, to help them continue to get their message in front of customers,” Nutting said. “Our company’s goal is to be a positive force in the communities we serve — celebrating each market’s unique strengths while also working to provide realistic solutions to areas of concern. We believe that strong, responsible and connected local newspapers are critically important to building and supporting strong communities now more than ever.”
Ogden will continue to operate the existing Swift publications under the name Swift Communications. After the close date, Swift will change its name to Questor Corp.
The Acres USA and Breaking Ground Institute will be part of Questor along with a portfolio of commercial and residential real estate properties in various states.
The Aspen Times is the longest running business in Pitkin County, and it was purchased by Swift Communications in December 1999.
This week’s $69-million purchase of the Silver Lining Ranch next to the Aspen Club included a 10-bedroom mansion, more than 6 acres and something else of value to the new ownership — a short-term rental license.