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Changes Are Coming to the Longmont Observer

When we first started the Longmont Observer three years ago, we knew we wanted to create a local news source that was by and for the people of Longmont.
Longmont Observer team jan 2019
Photo by Rick Brennan

This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

When we first started the Longmont Observer three years ago, we knew we wanted to create a local news source that was by and for the people of Longmont. We took our mission a step further this year with the launch of Longmont Public Media.

It has been challenging for our small team to run the LPM makerspace, manage programming and keep the Observer site up to date with the latest news. As a result, we haven’t always been able to do as much as we’d like in terms of local news coverage. 

These past two months, local news has been more important than ever as Longmont has experienced the coronavirus. We’ve been able to increase our coverage during this time, but it simply isn’t sustainable with everything else we are doing. 

And because we are still passionate about Longmont having a news source, we have decided to spin off the Observer to a new partner who will ensure the work we started can carry on. 

The Longmont Observer will soon become The Longmont Leader, which will be managed and operated by The Compass Experiment, a local news initiative run by McClatchy newspapers and funded by Google’s Local Experiments Project. 

The Longmont Leader, which will launch in May, will have some of the same local columns and news updates you have come to expect from the Observer, with one big difference: Funding. The Leader will also have paid full-time reporters and freelancers that will be focused solely on covering Longmont.

As for us, we aren't going anywhere. Longmont Public Media will continue developing programming by and for the people of Longmont and living up to our mission of ‘Creating Community Through Media”. We look forward to closely collaborating with The Longmont Leader team as media partners and members. 

We want to thank each of you for supporting the Longmont Observer the last few years through your contributions, readership and sponsorship. Thank you for your support of the Longmont Observer. 

--The Longmont Observer Team
Scott Converse
Sergio R. Angeles
Macie May

Who owns The Longmont Leader? Who runs it?

The Longmont Leader is owned and operated by the McClatchy Company, which owns 30 newspapers across 14 U.S states including the Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee. The Leader is part of The Compass Experiment, a local news initiative run by McClatchy newspapers and initially funded by Google’s Local Experiments Project.

The Leader will be managed by a local editor, with the support of The Compass Experiment team.

How can I stay informed about this?

Sign up for the email list for The Longmont Leader and you’ll be in the loop on our staffing, launch date, stories and upcoming (virtual) events.

What happens to the Longmont Observer?

The Observer will be going away. When The Longmont Leader launches, the website of the Observer will redirect to The social media accounts for the Longmont Observer will be renamed to that of The Longmont Leader.

What about the Longmont Observer archives?

All of the past stories from the Observer will be accessible and searchable on the website of The Longmont Leader.

When will this change happen?

We don’t yet know the exact launch date for The Leader but we expect to launch in May.

I am a Longmont Observer donor, what happens to my donations?

Any remaining donation funding from the Longmont Observer will stay with the non-profit Longmont Public Media. If you are interested in continuing to support local media, please consider donating to Longmont Public Media and The Longmont Leader.

Is The Longmont Leader affiliated with the Times-Call?

No, it is not.

Who will work for The Longmont Leader? Can I apply there?

The Longmont Leader is currently hiring full-time reporters (including at least one reporter who is bilingual in Spanish and English), an assistant editor and a business development and partnerships leader. You can learn more about those positions here. If you’re interested in a freelance position or contributing a story or column to The Longmont Leader, please email [email protected].

Is The Longmont Leader a non-profit?

The Longmont Leader is not a non-profit like the Longmont Observer or Longmont Public Media. Due to its ownership structure, it will be a for-profit media company, but it does not mean it will not be dedicated to its mission of serving fair, non-partisan news to the people of Longmont.

What will The Longmont Leader write about?

The Longmont Leader is dedicated to becoming a local hub for all things Longmont. That will include coverage of local government, police, schools and businesses as well as stories about the people, culture and events that make Longmont a special place to live.

How often will this website publish?

Once launched, the Longmont Leader will publish daily. It may take us a little while to get ramped up in terms of volume and timing of new stories, but the intention is to publish new stories seven days a week.

Will you have a printed paper or digital only? Will you deliver it to my door?

The Longmont Leader will be a digital-only news provider. Our stories will be easily accessible on mobile phones and tablets, as well as a free daily email newsletter.

Will I have to subscribe to get The Longmont Leader? How much does that cost?

The Longmont Leader will be free to access. We will have a paid membership option for those who can support our local journalism and keep it freely accessible to the rest of the community. We may have some special features and offers exclusively for email subscribers or paid members in the future.

Will The Longmont Leader support advertising?

In addition to accepting member contributions, The Longmont Leader will also offer a full range of digital advertising and sponsorship packages to area businesses that want to share their message or sponsor content for the community. We also plan to launch Look Local, a free program to help small businesses increase their digital presence with a business directory page and $200 in classified advertising credits. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

I usually send press releases and announcements to publish on the Observer website, where should I send them now?

Please send any press releases and communications to [email protected].

I contributed stories and opinion pieces to the Observer, can I continue to do that with The Leader?

The Longmont Leader is dedicated to being a gathering place for local ideas and conversations. If you’re interested in contributing a story, letter or column to The Longmont Leader, please email [email protected]. All submissions are subject to approval by the editor to ensure they align with our publishing standards and ethics (more will be shared soon on this).

Do you have other questions about this change, or about The Longmont Leader? Email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to answer you directly and update this post with more information.