Sentinel owner buys weeklies in Palisade, Fruita
Grand Junction Media Inc. purchased the Fruita Times and Palisade Tribune last week for an undisclosed amount.
The company, which also owns the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and The Nickel, acquired the newspapers from Publisher Bob Sweeney, who also publishes The Villager Newspaper, a weekly publication distributed to readers in Denver’s southern suburbs.
The Nickel publisher Doug Freed has already taken over as publisher of the two newspapers, saying he’s not sure yet what changes he will make.
Freed did say, however, that a popular column in the Fruita Times, Charlie the Cat, will remain, but warned that the cat is 18 years old and may not be around much longer.
Freed, who will continue to serve as publisher of The Nickel, also said no one will lose their job and the two communities will continue to have their local newspapers.
“It is impressive to me that both these papers have been around for more than 100 years. That says a ton,” he said. “We sure want them to be around for another hundred years.”
The two weeklies began publishing as far back as 1894.
Freed said his hope is to increase the news content of the two newspapers and vows they won’t become some sort of shopper publications to the Sentinel.
In fact, they all will compete for news and advertising, Freed said.
“I came up in this business in community journalism, and I believe in it,” he said. “These small-town newspapers are very important to people, and I understand that. My goal is certainly not to diminish that, and hopefully improve on it.”
Freed has worked in various positions for Grand Junction Media since 2001. Prior to that, he had worked in just about every aspect of newspapers large and small in the state, from editorial to advertising to production, since 1979.