Media, Printing & Graphics  June 3, 2024

Wood: It’s — 30— for Ken Amundson

Ken Amundson is typing “-30- ” at the end of a long career.

That number, which journalists have used to indicate the end of a story for editors, means the end of more than 51 years in journalism for Ken, who retired from BizWest as of May 31.

We already miss him.

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Ken joined BizWest Media LLC in March 2014, initially serving as vice president of operations and publisher of the company’s Wyoming Business Report. He also negotiated the sale of the Wyoming publication to Adams Publishing Group LLC in December 2015.

He returned to reporting and editing full-time in January 2016, becoming managing editor of BizWest.

It was a match made in heaven.

The move got Ken back into reporting and editing, allowing his love of community journalism to shine through. And it provided BizWest with a journalist of the highest caliber.

No task is too big or too small for Ken. He has jumped on simple news briefs and complicated court cases. He has provided gripping coverage of water development in the region, including Chimney Hollow Reservoir. He has covered bankruptcies and lawsuits with such accuracy that a judge once accused him of recording the hearings, so accurate were his quotes. (Ken didn’t record the hearings; he’s just a very good note-taker.)

With a small staff, doling out assignments can be tricky. If a particular reporter is busy or overwhelmed, and a breaking news story emerges, Ken usually responds with, “I can probably do it,” even if his workload is also heavy.

And he does it. Again and again.

Ken also has contributed to open government through numerous Colorado Open Records Act requests, some involving larger cities in the region and others smaller communities lacking experience in open-records or open-meetings laws.

Ken is an authoritative voice on open-government laws, serving as an essential resource for BizWest’s team of journalists. That’s due to his extensive background with the Durango Herald, Longmont Times-Call, Loveland Reporter-Herald and other publications, but especially because of his stint as president of the Colorado Press Association, where he helped draft a law requiring executive sessions to be recorded.

Ken in 2002 was honored with the First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his promotion, enforcement and education about the Freedom of Information Act, the Colorado Open Records Act and the Colorado Open Meetings Act.

Rick Carpenter, then managing editor of the Reporter-Herald, stated in a letter nominating Ken for the award, “Amundson also puts his pen where his mouth is,” with numerous editorials about the importance of open government.

Ken also has overseen assignments not only for BizWest’s team of journalists but also a cadre of dedicated freelance writers. He’s organized, thoughtful and nurturing with all.

Recent months have seen Ken write a series of columns reflecting on his long career. They are fascinating reads and provide prime examples of a true and dedicated journalist.

Now, Ken, about that freelancing…

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942 or [email protected].

See stories related to Ken Amundson.

Amundson to retire from BizWest after 51 years in journalism
https://bizwest.com/2024/05/31/amundson-to-retire-from-bizwest-after-51-years-in-journalism/

Truth: Stranger than fiction
https://bizwest.com/2024/01/05/truth-stranger-than-fiction/

Collaborative journalism: A joint effort to protect a community
https://bizwest.com/2024/02/02/collaborative-journalism-a-joint-effort-to-protect-a-community/

Amundson: Not always what it seems
https://bizwest.com/2024/03/08/amundson-not-always-what-it-seems/

Amundson: Stories some don’t want told
https://bizwest.com/2024/04/02/amundson-stories-some-dont-want-told/

Amundson: Local events take a toll
https://bizwest.com/2024/05/03/amundson-local-events-take-a-toll/

Amundson: Career focused on community journalism
https://bizwest.com/2024/05/30/amundson-career-focused-on-community-journalism/

Christopher Wood
Christopher Wood is editor and publisher of BizWest, a regional business journal covering Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties. Wood co-founded the Northern Colorado Business Report in 1995 and served as publisher of the Boulder County Business Report until the two publications were merged to form BizWest in 2014. From 1990 to 1995, Wood served as reporter and managing editor of the Denver Business Journal. He is a Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder. He has won numerous awards from the Colorado Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Alliance of Area Business Publishers.
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