When I moved to Colorado, it was 2005 and I was a newly single mom with two small children. I soon found a home at the Colorado Springs Business Journal, writing about health care, aerospace, defense and technology (you know, the light stuff).
I was part of the staff when John Weiss purchased the Business Journal in 2012 and I left for a brief stint at the Air Force Academy about a year later. I came back in 2015, and since then, I’ve held various positions in what we now call Sixty35 Media. In 2019, I became publisher of the Colorado Springs Independent, a paper I’d read faithfully since I moved here. Holding this job was one of the highest honors I’ve ever had.
But journalism is an industry in transition, chasing readers across social media, print, digital, events. We’re trying to be everywhere, telling it like it is above an ever-rising tide of misconceptions, half-truths and outright lies; working to remain honest and truthful with shrinking budgets and shrinking staff.
Just so you know, the people on this team are the hardest-working people I know. They are doing more with less, and doing it with grace and humor.
It’s time for me to open the next chapter in my career.
So the last few years have been quite a ride. Tough decisions had to be made, and I was the one who had to make them. It’s not always been fun, with more challenges in the past few months than I could ever have imagined. Who knew that changing a business model, creating a new publication, finding a way to fundraise could be so difficult?
But it is done. I’m confident that Sixty35 Media will continue to do what its past iterations have always accomplished: deliver truth, build community and engage citizens.
I’m confident that every issue will be stronger than the last and every issue will serve the community in ways that other media won’t. Sixty35 will lift the unseen and the unheard; it will hold the powerful accountable. It’s what the staff does, and I am honored to have played a small part in their success.
But it’s time for me to open the next chapter in my career. I did what I set out to do. I’m writing this in the fourth issue of Sixty35, and the paper’s found its groove. Those important stories will be told, people will keep learning about our community and finding new ways to connect. That was the goal. Instead of closing yet another newspaper, Sixty35 will carry on the tradition of the Indy, the Business Journal, the Pikes Peak Bulletin and the Southeast Express.
A final thank you to the best team in the world. I’m so, so fortunate to have worked with you — you have become very much like a rowdy, sometimes dysfunctional, always with your hearts in the right place, family. Never forget how important the work you do is to the Pikes Peak region.
And there is still work to be done — like advertising and fundraising and membership and subscriptions. There are hard stories to tell and fun feature pieces to write. There are podcasts to record and events to organize. There’s payroll and office work and planning the future and budgets. While that’s work other people will do, I’ll always be this team’s biggest cheerleader.
Someone else will be at the helm, and y’all, that’s a really good thing. Every organization needs fresh perspectives, fresh eyes, fresh ideas. As journalism continues to find its footing among all the noise, innovation is vital. I’m confident that Sixty35 will lead the way.