To quote Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin‘…”
But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Today’s announcement that the Times Call, Longmont’s hometown newspaper had been sold, to a larger company that is not from the Longmont community, saddened us. We have many friends at the Times Call, who both work there and are our neighbors. This is a big deal to the Longmont community and watching publisher Dean Lehman’s emotional announcement to his team is not sitting well.
It was also not long ago, in 2009 that the Longmont Examiner appeared before city council to take issue with a particular councilman who was seeking to pull all city legal ad revenue and end all contracts with the Times Call. Many in the community were aware that it was vindictive and out of spite for what he saw in the paper as a slant against his own personal politics. It was at that meeting (and the meeting before) it that we witnessed publisher Dean Lehman also addressing the same issue. You could tell he was passionate about his family owned newspaper, was concerned and rightly so. Ad revenue is a big part of income for newspapers and it was disheartening to members of the Longmont community to hear that a public official was putting politics before support for this community newspaper, which employs a large number of our own residents. With former political beat reporters PJ Shields and Rachel Carter, the Times Call took a very active role in ensuring openness and transparency with respect to the workings of our city government.
The Times Call also gives readers an outlet to write. In addition to editorials and guest opinion articles, it recently had began a section called “Your News” in which readers could submit stories and news of their own. Often those reader submitted articles and photos were put into print.
Current glowbass.com Vice President and former Times Call Editor and writer Travis Henry had this to say about the news, “”The Times-Call is a great local daily newspaper. I hope the acquisition bolsters the paper’s contribution and service to the community.”
The Longmont Times Call has a philosophy that is printed in each daily paper. It goes, “To build a better world, start in your own community.” While they also cover world news, most of their content is about the Longmont community and is written best by those who know Longmont.
Here’s hoping the new owners don’t change it too much.
(Article edited on 1-24-11)