ARCHIVED  November 1, 1997

Publishers plan weekly Fort Collins newspaper

FORT COLLINS — Plans for a new weekly newspaper in Fort Collins are well under way, and copies of the first issue could appear in mailboxes sometime in March.The Fort Collins Forum will be mailed to every home in Fort Collins and will offer balanced coverage of local issues, said the paper˜s publisher-to-be, John Kirsch.
Kirsch and his partner, Eddie Faillace, have presented their idea for a new weekly to community members and business people and met with enthusiastic response, Kirsch said. "We˜ve gone out with a grass-roots effort to find out the interest level, and its been very positive."
Kirsch, who declined to discuss details of how the money for the paper would be raised or what the paper˜s exact focus would be, plans to raise about $400,000 before going into production.
"You have to start as the 900-pound gorilla with broad circulation and good editorial content to make it," he said.
Mailing the paper to all 54,000-plus households in Fort Collins will provide the kind of blanket coverage advertisers look for, Kirsch said. And comprehensive coverage of community news will fill an existing niche.
"One thing we˜ve heard is that people are apathetic about local issues," he said. "We feel that it˜s not apathy but a lack of information and education. We plan to cover these issues in ways that are easy to absorb and tell both sides of the story."
Kirsch has worked for many years in the newspaper and publishing industry. He was publisher for American City Business Journal˜s papers in Miami and Baltimore. And currently, he owns Money Mailer of Northern Colorado, a direct-mail franchise.
"I˜ve managed all the departments of a newspaper," he said. "I am very comfortable with all aspects of the business."
Eddie Faillace is a former columnist for the Triangle Review, a weekly newspaper that operated in Fort Collins for more than 25 years, and a former Fort Collins mayoral candidate. Faillace intends to revive his column, Cruisin˜ Around Collins, and work with the paper˜s editor on content he says will be "conservative on the moderate side" with a focus on family values, education, and the community as a whole.
"This will be the people˜s paper," he said. "The Coloradoan˜s money goes straight to its owner, Gannett. The money this paper makes will stay right here."
Faillace said he˜d been aware for some time that there was a lack of local coverage and a real desire for it. That, compounded with the fact that business people aren˜t happy with the Coloradoan˜s virtual monopoly on advertising dollars, he said, piqued his interest in starting a paper. The opportunity to partner with someone as experienced in the business as Kirsch was too good to pass up.
Fort Collins has seen the demise of several publications in the past couple of years, including the Triangle Review and Inside Fort Collins.
"Of course, some people say we˜ll fail and offer nothing but showers of doom," Faillace said, "but I˜ve been in business a long time, and I wouldn˜t do this if it wasn˜t a unique situation. I have great confidence in John˜s abilities, and the community is supportive."
Kirsch said he plans to hire an editor and a staff of around 15 people, but will probably rely primarily on freelance writers for stories.
"We˜re not going to be a little, struggling paper," Faillace said. "We˜ either succeed big and expand throughout Larimer County, or we˜ll fold quickly."

FORT COLLINS — Plans for a new weekly newspaper in Fort Collins are well under way, and copies of the first issue could appear in mailboxes sometime in March.The Fort Collins Forum will be mailed to every home in Fort Collins and will offer balanced coverage of local issues, said the paper˜s publisher-to-be, John Kirsch.
Kirsch and his partner, Eddie Faillace, have presented their idea for a new weekly to community members and business people and met with enthusiastic response, Kirsch said. "We˜ve gone out with a grass-roots effort to find out the interest level, and its been…

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