Media, Printing & Graphics  May 30, 2024

Canadian news collective closes Longmont Leader

LONGMONT — After eight years, the Longmont Leader online newspaper will close. 

The Leader’s editor, Macie May, published a letter to readers May 30, announcing the closure. The closure is owner Village Media Network’s second American news closure in the past three years, shortly after entering the U.S. market. 

In a letter to readers, May wrote: 

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“It has been an honor to write for this publication. … I want to thank each and every one of you for reading our news each day. Your stories have drawn together a community of people who have raised money for cancer patients, supported families, gathered for community events, changed the minds of government officials and so much more. It has been a privilege to have been a part of it all.”

On the news outlet’s Facebook page, comments are pouring in. 

“This news makes me so sad. I appreciate The Longmont Leader’s fair reporting. You will be greatly missed,” said Jenni Prunier King.

Rick Cook said, “This is very sad news; you guys did an awesome job of covering the schools and surrounding area with local events.”

May forwarded all questions about the closure to Village Media CEO Jeff Elgie. He wrote in an email that he was out of town for the next week, and could not speak until then.

Village Media’s online news model rocketed through Canada in the past 10 years and continues to be strong, with 45 outlets across the country. Elgie officially broke into the U.S. market in 2021 with the acquisition of the Longmont Leader. According to the Colorado News Collaborative, Village Media took over the Longmont Leader from the McClatchy news chain in March 2021. Later that year, it launched the Broomfield Leader as its second U.S. local news site in the county of about 70,000 between Denver and Boulder. Elgie closed the Broomfield publication in September 2023.

“It’s the first market we’ve actually ever closed,” Elgie told CNC in a telephone interview at the time. “We’ve never closed a market in 10 years.”

Indeed,Village Media continues to launch new news outlets. On May 28, it launched its 25th online newspaper in Alberta, Canada, according to its website. Village Media still lists three American publications on its list of outlets through the O’Rourke Media Group, one each in Queen Creek Sun Times in Arizona, the Gazette Leader in Virginia, and Rough Draft Atlanta in Georgia.

The Longmont Leader began as the Longmont Observer in 2017 when a group of community members led by Scott Converse and Sergio Angeles wanted to create news that focused on Longmont. In 2020, the Compass Experiment by Google took over and rebranded it as the Longmont Leader. The newsroom came under the purview of McClatchy for this experiment.

Sharon Dunn
Sharon Dunn is an award-winning journalist covering business, banking, real estate, energy, local government and crime in Northern Colorado since 1994. She began her journalism career in Alaska after graduating Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1992. She found her way back to Colorado, where she worked at the Greeley Tribune for 25 years. She has a master's degree in communications management from the University of Denver. She is married and has one grown daughter — and a beloved English pointer at her side while she writes. When not writing, you may find her enjoying embroidery and crochet projects, watching football, or kayaking and birdwatching on a high-mountain lake.
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