What you need to know about the Bulletin’s future

News  /  Village

Amy Gillentine

Editor’s note: Almost all copies of our Dec. 8 issue were accidentally taken from our company’s downtown Colorado Springs office. It would be too expensive to reprint the issue, so we are publishing this important story again.

Approximately 30-35 people got a behind-the-scenes look at what’s been happening, and what’s next, for the Bulletin. They attended the Dec. 1 meeting about the newspaper in the Manitou Art Center’s conference room.

Amy Gillentine, the newspaper’s publisher, explained that her local career began with the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2005. When John Weiss purchased it in 2012, she joined his company as a reporter, and after a two-year stint at the Air Force Academy, came back as editor of the Business Journal.

She took over as publisher of the CSBJ and associated papers in 2017 and took the reins of the Colorado Springs Independent in 2019.

After July 2022, when Weiss decided to retire, he handed the company reins to Gillentine. That includes overseeing operations at the Indy, CSBJ, Southeast Express, the Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group and the Bulletin.

“I was a reporter for most of my career, and find myself now as publisher of the new nonprofit 6035 Media. And that (the nonprofit) is the result of about three months of extremely hard work,” she told the crowd.

The nonprofit launched Nov. 1 with a board of directors including Ralph Routon, longtime Manitou resident and the Bulletin’s executive editor emeritus, and Weiss as a nonvoting member.

The board will not have any influence on the newspapers’ editorial decisions. Instead, each newspaper’s editor answers to Gillentine and she answers to the board.

“We will continue to report the news independent of any influence,” she said.

Weiss’ abrupt departure meant changes to the company’s operations on top of other challenges.

“The pandemic upset so many apple carts, and we’re no exception. There’s a supply chain issue with newsprint; it’s gone up something like 400 percent in the past two years alone,” Gillentine said.

After researching the newspapers’ audiences, Gillentine and Dr. Ahriana Platten found they reach 25 percent of the local population online and about 30 percent in print.

“When we looked at our options, it was, frankly, to close everything, take it nonprofit or try to find a buyer very quickly. And I believe that these papers are worthy of community support, and that the community will support them,” Gillentine said.

For several reasons, it just makes good business sense to fully combine resources and “put those voices into one publication,” Gillentine said. Sixty35 magazine will launch Thursday, Jan. 12.

Ralph Routon
Executive editor emeritus

“We will build those bridges from Southeast and from Manitou to other parts of the city and tell the stories, not just to Manitou residents, but to people who are in Monument and maybe have never been here, to people in southeast Colorado Springs who have never been to Manitou, and really start to create a community in El Paso County by connecting those audiences,” she said.

The new nonprofit’s mission is to “deliver the truth, to build community and to engage citizens.” As a nonprofit, the newspapers cannot endorse political candidates or ballot initiatives, but can publish impartial news stories to inform readers.

Free copies will be available on the streets, but if readers want to ensure they receive what’s being called an “über publication” every week, they’ll need to subscribe.

Current Bulletin subscribers will receive it at the same cost, but that will increase after the first year. Readers will be able to subscribe easily and securely on the new, overarching website,, which will go live Jan. 1. Subscribers are also members of Sixty35.

Readers also can opt for a membership. That includes privileges such as participation in conversations about community issues, how they are covered and what readers need and want, emailed PDFs of each week’s issue and invitations to members-only events. The basic level will cost $10 per month.

Gillentine said that 10 percent of membership dollars will go to scholarships for new journalists from diverse backgrounds to help improve trust and encourage voices from underserved communities.

“We’re hoping that there will be ownership from the readers, from people like you who care enough to come here that you’ll want the paper to continue to succeed and to exist. And that will be the motivation, also to pay at some level for a subscription, and hopefully a membership,” Routon said.

The nonprofit has received grants matching grants of $5,000 from Colorado Media Project and $250,000 from Weiss. Sixty35 Media has until the end of 2023 to raise the matching funds the Colorado Media Project, but has a year to meet Weiss’ grant challenge.

In January, readers can go to and find the news they’re interested in — updated daily.

“The very cool thing about it is, it’s customizable. So if you want Manitou news, maybe arts and culture, and maybe politics, that’s what you will be delivered when you go to the website. So it’s tailored to what people want to see,” Gillentine explained.

The greatest advantage of the new publication for Manitou businesses and other entities that advertise: Readers from throughout the region will learn more about what’s available here, upcoming events, etc. Current advertisers will see the same rates for the first year and can decide where their ads appear in the publication.

Also, Sixty35 Media will participate in “story share” through the Colorado Media Project, sharing local content with newspapers across the state.

Gillentine explained that newspapers need to have 50 percent advertising content to support 50 percent editorial content so they can meet budget goals and the company expenses. For instance, that would be a half-page ad or two quarter-page ads below or next to an opinion submission or feature story.

The more advertising received from Manitou, Old Colorado City and Lower Ute Pass, the more information from and about those areas can be published.

Gillentine promised that everything that appears in the current Bulletin print edition will continue in the new print publication or online. Some of the content will appear in a section of the publication called “The Village,” while others will appear with listings and editorials from Colorado Springs.

Routon answered additional questions from the audience about Manitou content. The Bulletin will aim to publish timely stories, such as City Council, online, then publish what’s happening next in the print version.

“We understand that people are nervous and that there’s a strong love of the Bulletin here and of the Indy in Colorado Springs, and we are doing our best to preserve the best of what we do. And to deliver it in a very efficient way,” Gillentine said.

She also promised that the Bulletin editor will continue to be based in Manitou Springs. (Note: We are exploring options to share the Manitou Art Center office with one quiet person or move to a less-expensive one, preferably downtown. Send ideas to

“Amy is from a small town in Mississippi, I’m from a small town in Arkansas,” Routon said. “The last thing that we would ever want to be part of is something that would take a newspaper away from a small community.”

He explained that Weiss had hoped for a town hall-type meeting and “$100,000 would fall into our lap and that would be enough seed money to keep us going.”

But, as he echoed Gillentine, this plan will guarantee that Manitou residents, business owners and visitors still have a publication they can rely on, one where they can express opinions and learn more about local issues.

Gillentine explained that full information about advertising and subscribing will be released during a multimedia marketing campaign.

The Bulletin will continue to publish every week as usual, but the Independent will pause publication starting Dec. 21. They, along with the other publications, will be wrapped into the Jan. 12 issue of Sixty 35 magazine.

The traditional year-end retrospective will appear in the Bulletin’s Dec. 29 and Jan. 5 issues.

The office will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but the Police Beat and any breaking news will be posted on Facebook and the website,, so that those readers will receive important information through the break.

“It’s a challenging time in media, everybody knows that. But local media is important. Independent local media is even more important,” Gillentine said.

“We’ve spent the past three months developing this and getting ready for it to launch. I am excited about the future and terrified, but … these plans are really coming together in a way that I think will be a game changer.”

To Amy Gillentine and Ralph Routon, thank you for all your diligent, thoughtful work on this transition. To all the caring Bulletin readers who gave their time to listen and ask questions, we appreciate you.

To Cathy Reilly, our incredible friend and colleague in the Colorado Springs office, thanks for your help with the meeting.

Special thanks to Christina Krych of The Bread Stork and Samantha Galloway of Noice Foods for the treats!

Rhonda Van Pelt, editor

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