Craig Daily Press has new owners
June 17, 2016
Craig — WorldWest Limited Liability Company, owner of Craig Daily Press, has reached an agreement to sell the newspaper to Colorado Mountain News Media, a division of Swift Communications. The transaction includes the sale of sister publication Steamboat Pilot & Today and its related assets.
Swift Communications was established in 1975 and is based in Carson City, Nevada. The company owns more than two dozen regional and local publications in California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Swift Communications specializes in serving mountain resort communities with daily newspapers, as well as large, national circulation and glossy magazines and a number of online products.
"We have long admired the journalistic and operational excellence of the Steamboat Pilot & Today and the Craig Daily Press and the important leadership position these organizations hold in their communities," said Bill Waters, Swift Communications chief executive officer. "Opportunities abound to share content, resources, strategy and career opportunities across our Rocky Mountain, Wasatch Mountain, and Sierra Nevada/Lake Tahoe enterprises."
The owners of WorldWest, based in Lawrence, Kansas, are Dolph C. Simons III, Dan C. Simons, Linda deMenocal and Pamela Simons. Dolph C. Simons III and Dan C. Simons are co-managers. The company purchased Craig Daily Press in 1997. Under WorldWest's ownership, Craig Daily Press has been recognized with Colorado Press Association's annual General Excellence award for 11 consecutive years.
"We have been honored to be involved with the Craig newspaper for quite some time. The quality of our team's work there has been established with numerous awards. The quality of the employees shows with their meaningful involvement in the community," said Dan Simons. "The newspaper industry is going through many changes; subsequently it has become increasingly difficult for our small newspaper company to compete and deliver the quality journalism Craig deserves. We believe it is in the best interest of the employees and the city of Craig to sell to Swift."
Former Craig Daily Press publishers Bryce Jacobson and Samantha Johnston are publishers for the Swift newspapers in Greeley and Aspen, respectively.
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"It is interesting that several of our former employees have gone on to achieve high ranking positions with the Swift newspaper network. I believe Swift will do an excellent job and run a quality newspaper," concluded Simons.
"I have had the privilege of a 20-plus-year professional relationship with Suzanne Schlicht and have admired what she and her teams in Steamboat and Craig have achieved," said Bob Brown, President and chief operating officer for Swift. "Their commitment to their communities, their staff and quality are attributes that Colorado Mountain News Media and Swift embrace.
Ownership is expected to transition on August 1. "We welcome these great teams and so look forward to them joining Swift Communications," concluded Waters.
Separately, WorldWest will sell its Arizona newspaper, Payson Roundup, to White Mountain Publishing LLC, a division of Kramer Publications based in Case Grande, Arizona.
The Simons family also announced the pending sale of the media operations of The World Company, including The Lawrence Journal-World, to Ogden Newspapers Inc. of West Virginia. The World Company and WorldWest LLC share common ownership. These transactions bring to an end four generations of newspaper publishing for the Simons family.