Carbondale newspaper shut down |

Carbondale newspaper shut down

CARBONDALE ” Today’s edition of The Valley Journal, Carbondale’s community newspaper for more than three decades, will be the last, its managers said Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that The Valley Journal is suspending publication as a free-standing newspaper for the unforeseeable future with this, the 41st edition of the 34th year of the VJ’s existence, due to the current economic situation,” wrote editor and general manager John Stroud in the current edition.

“It is definitely not an easy decision, but the recession is forcing many tough decisions all around, both here in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond,” Stroud continued. “The need for Carbondale to have a newspaper is still very real, and we of course prefer to look at this as a temporary situation, with the goal being a return of the VJ to the streets of Carbondale and the surrounding area whenever the economy allows.”

Aspen Times Publisher Jenna Weatherred said the management of Colorado Mountain News Media, parent company of the Valley Journal as well as the Times, will continue to evaluate the future of the VJ over time. Meanwhile, she said, readers can look for news about Carbondale events, people and governmental affairs in The Aspen Times and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

The paper was founded as the Roaring Fork Review in 1974 by Craig publisher Robert Sweeney. The newspaper’s editors at the time, Pat Noel and Becky (Young) Tucker, broke away from the Review to start The Valley Journal, which was the first locally owned newspaper serving the middle Roaring Fork Valley since 1934.

The papers merged under The Roaring Fork Valley Journal banner on June 11, 1975.

The Valley Journal went through a series of local ownership changes until 1998, when it was purchased by Atlanta-based Morris Communications, along with several other newspapers in the region, including The Glenwood Post, The Rifle Citizen Telegram and The Snowmass Sun.

In November 2000, the Valley Journal and The Aspen Times were acquired, along with the other Morris holdings in the region, by Swift Communications of Reno, Nev., and its subsidiary, Colorado Mountain News Media.

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