Mountain Valley News prints final edition for Delta County readers

In the end, the bottom line just didn’t look the way it should: straight and black.

But though a market economy might argue otherwise, there are other measures of success.

“We were really striving to be a community newspaper that represented all Delta County and even some of the surrounding areas in a different sort of way,” said Bob Cox. “I know this sounds cliché as it can get, I keep saying it, the operation was a success but the patient died. I think we had a good product, I will never, ever back off from that.”

The newspaper is the Mountain Valley News, a paid-subscription weekly based in Cedaredge whose final, Sept. 25 edition is in the mail to 1,800 subscribers.

Cox, who became publisher of the newspaper after beginning as a freelancer in early 2002, after a 20-year career in law enforcement, said he was notified Sept. 2 by Advantage Holdings Inc. officials “that we were going to cease operation by the end of September,” he said. Tuesday, he cleared out his office.

The newspaper began in 1992 as a newsletter published by Harry Straub. By the time Advantage Holdings Inc. bought it in 2002, it had expanded to a 16-page, tabloid-format community newspaper. Five full-time employees and a cadre of freelance writers kept the newspaper plugged into Delta County communities.

“One of the things that hurts the most (about the newspaper closing) is we used a lot of young people and brought them up,” Cox said. “We had high school interns and I watched these kids turn into real professionals.”

The newspaper provided a forum for a wide variety of opinions, he said, adding that the quality of the product was never in question, just the financial vagaries of the newspaper industry.

“I think that’s one of the big things that we did, we had a forum where people knew that we did news, and we did opinion,  and we separated the two,” Cox explained. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing we had going for us, true news reporting.”


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