Wurzer takes helm as publisher at Vail Daily

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Following an executive search, Mark Wurzer has been hired as the new publisher at the Vail Daily, a newspaper in the Colorado Mountain News Media group (CMNM), a Swift Communications company. He replaces Don Rogers, who in April moved to another Swift property, The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, Calif.

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A native Chicagoan, Wurzer has worked in a variety of sales and marketing positions, including a stint at the Los Angeles Times, and during an 11-year stay in the Denver area, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Newspaper Agency, the company created in a joint operating agreement with The Denver Post. He also worked for several years for Denver-based Clarity Media, owned by Philip Anschutz. His last job was as vice president of advertising for the Des Moines Register. He and his wife, Lynn, have two adult sons.

Essex new publisher at Post Independent

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Randy Essex, a veteran journalist who has been the editor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent since May 2014, has added the title of publisher at that newspaper. Essex previously worked at the Cincinnati Enquirer as senior editor for news, deputy managing editor at the Detroit Free Press, and assistant managing editor at the Des Moines Register. The change comes as Michael Bennett, who has served both as publisher and advertising director, moves into the role of a regional digital business development manager with Colorado Mountain News Media. Bennett had been publisher of the Post Independent since October 2013.

Retired Aspen Times editor Stone pens novel

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Andy Stone, former editor of The Aspen Times, took advantage of his retirement to write and self-publish a new novel, “Aspen Drift,” a thriller with plenty of mystery, centered on the Colorado ski town and whose main character is reporter Jack Jackson. According to Times writer Andrew Travers: “The novel is filled with reverence for the mining era, nostalgia for the ski bum heyday, with a whiff of disdain for the real estate and development interests that began taking hold of this carefree mountain town around the time ‘Aspen Drift’ is set,” in 1988.

Stone, 71, who first arrived in Aspen in 1972, has been writing about the area for more than four decades. He began as a reporter in 1974, went on to become editor and co-publisher of The Aspen Times, and still writes a weekly column for that newspaper. The book is his second, the first being a fantasy novel, “Song of the Kingdom,” published in 1979. Now, he and his wife, historical novelist Linda Lafferty, are at work on a new book together, focusing on the art world in both 16th century and modern times.

Coloradoan lowers paywalls for politics

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In a recent column, Lauren Gustus, executive editor of the Coloradoan in Fort Collins, said the newspaper will “remove our meter on election-related stories” in order to allow for any and every opportunity for the newspaper’s readers to engage during this election season, including “those who might not be subscribers.” The move means that “those who don’t have a digital subscription (or those that aren’t logged into their Coloradoan.com accounts) will be able to access all election-related stories, photos and videos.”

Former Post editor turns teacher

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Greg Moore, longtime and now former editor of The Denver Post, is moving into the education field, teaching a five-week seminar this fall at the University of Colorado Boulder titled “Deadlines and Disruptions: New Issues in the News” at the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI). He joins the university as a Hearst Visiting Professor of Professional Practice. The seminar is being offered to upper-division undergraduates and graduate students in the college. He will also partner with faculty to teach sessions in two courses, “Principles of Journalism” and “Digital Journalism” and give several public lectures. The first, “Putting the Watchdog to Sleep,” is free and open to the public, set for 11 a.m. on Oct. 14 in the Old Main Chapel.

According to the university: “The seminar will “tackle the challenges facing public service journalism in an era that demands 24/7 coverage at the same time it is resource-starved. With a mixture of class discussion, lectures, readings and visits from professionals, Moore will cover both the right way to produce quality high-impact public journalism and the difficult realities.”

NAA rebrands as News Media Alliance

The Newspaper Association of America has rebranded its organization as News Media Alliance, launching a new website at www.newsmediaalliance.org on Sept. 7 in conjunction with the announcement. The move was made in an effort to adapt to the changing news media landscape, and is “the culmination of a larger strategic plan to highlight the news media industry’s evolution to multi-platform, digitally-savvy businesses and premium content providers.” The organization has also broadened its membership requirements to allow digital-first and digital-only news organizations publishing original content to join.

Said Michael MaLoon, vice president of innovation for the new NMA: “Our transformation efforts are designed to show the positive trajectory of the industry and to share the innovation and growth taking place, especially in the digital space. There are so many great things happening in our industry right now, and our job is to tell those stories.”

More historic newspapers to go online

History Colorado has received a $200,000 grant to digitize at least 100,000 pages of the state’s historic newspapers from 1859-1922. Work will begin in October to identify which titles will be digitized over a two-year period. The funds come courtesy of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Pages will be scanned from microfilm and made into searchable digital files available through the Library of Congress website “Chronicling America.” The pages will also be added to the online Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC), a service of the Colorado State Library. History Colorado has actively collected, preserved and provided access to newspapers since 1897, two decades after its founding in 1879.