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Colorado Public Radio Acquires Denverite, Bolstering Commitment to Local Journalism

CENTENNIAL, Colo., March 6, 2019Colorado Public Radio (CPR) today announced it will acquire local news site Denverite from its parent company, Spirited Media, in an effort to further CPR’s commitment to strengthen local journalism and reach new audiences with in-depth news. The acquisition is made possible thanks to generous philanthropic support from Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, the Ellenoff Family Fund and Gates Family Foundation, all of whom are deeply committed to helping local journalism thrive in Colorado.  

“Denverite has become an important source of original journalism, serving a growing community need for news in Colorado’s largest city,” said President and CEO Stewart Vanderwilt. “We’re thrilled to have Denverite join the CPR family, where it will get the enhanced reach and infrastructure of the CPR network, while still retaining the unique voice and focus its audience knows and loves.”

Denverite has been an online news source for the city since 2016 when it launched to provide local coverage focused on growth and development, arts and culture, government and politics, and events. It has since built a fan base of more than 150,000 monthly unique web visitors, 15,000 email subscribers and thousands of social fans.

“Denverite provides extensive coverage of what’s happening in the city, giving CPR News even more opportunity to focus on stories with statewide interest,” said Executive Editor Kevin Dale. “The resulting impact of more local and statewide coverage across all platforms will benefit the entire state, particularly at a time when local news needs as much support as possible.”

As a result of the acquisition, all of Denverite’s editorial staff will be retained, including Editor Dave Burdick who will become the Digital Managing Editor of CPR News. In this role, Burdick will manage CPR’s digital news content and continue to provide oversight of Denverite.

“Denverite became a member-supported newsroom last year, and now it’ll be part of the biggest, best member-supported news organization in Colorado,” said Burdick. “It's a great match, and Denverites will keep getting the dedicated, sometimes quirky, give-a-damn coverage of their city that they've come to rely on from our journalists."  

Denverite will continue to publish under its own brand, covering a wide variety of Denver news and politics; however, readers will notice significantly enhanced coverage of Metro Denver’s vibrant arts and culture scene thanks to support from Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, which works to advance the arts and inspire creative leadership in Denver.

“The expanded arts coverage is especially exciting to Bonfils-Stanton Foundation,” said Gary Steuer, President and CEO of Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. ”We are very pleased to support this effort that will help fill the gap in local arts and culture journalism.”

Foundation support was organized through the Colorado Media Project, a community-based initiative that works with a wide variety of news organizations across the state to explore business models, develop collaborations, and increase public engagement and funding for local journalism. Gates and Bonfils-Stanton grants through the CMP will total $350,000 over three years, which will be supplemented by an additional gift from the Ellenoff Family Fund. Together they will help CPR cover some of the immediate operating costs of adding Denverite to the CPR network. Denverite will be funded out of CPR’s annual operating budget after three years.

“Local news is a public good – and business models that reach Coloradans both at scale and deeply in their communities are continuously evolving,” said Melissa Davis, vice president for Gates Family Foundation and a member of the Colorado Media Project executive committee. “We see this as a chance to bring a unique, homegrown newsroom into mission-aligned local ownership, while also increasing CPR’s digital and reporting capacities – enabling both newsrooms to engage more Coloradans with high-quality local journalism.”

Learn more about Colorado Public Radio at cpr.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to Denverite’s free daily newsletter at denverite.com/newsletter.

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that produces and curates in-depth and meaningful news and music, establishing thoughtful connections to Colorado for listeners seeking to be informed, enlightened and entertained. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations.

CPR News delivers in-depth, insightful and impartial news and information from around the world, across the nation and throughout Colorado, examining its relevance to our state and connecting it to our community.

CPR Classical takes listeners on an in-depth exploration of thoughtfully curated music – with an emphasis on Colorado’s classical community – providing context to a broad range of meaningful and compelling works from past to present.

CPR’s OpenAir takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.

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