Steamboat Springs Today's edition marks the final publication of the Hayden Valley Press, a small weekly newspaper owned by WorldWest LLC, the parent company of the Steamboat Pilot & Today and Craig Daily Press.
Pilot & Today and Hayden Valley Press Editor Brent Boyer said it no longer makes sense to publish a weekly paper consisting of the same content that appears daily in the Steamboat Today. Circulation numbers and feedback from Hayden officials and community leaders support the decision, Boyer said.
About 340 copies of the Hayden Valley Press are published each Wednesday and distributed in Hayden. About 100 of those copies are mailed to subscribers. The others are available at newspaper racks for 25 cents a copy.
By contrast, about 1,000 copies of the Steamboat Today are distributed for free six days a week in Hayden. Another 300 copies of the Sunday Pilot & Today are distributed in Hayden.
"We recognize the needs of our Hayden readers have changed over the years, and we have seen this through a corresponding drop in circulation of Hayden Valley Press while at the same time seeing increased circulation of the Steamboat Today in Hayden," Steamboat Pilot & Today Publisher and WorldWest General Manager Suzanne Schlicht said. "We believe we are responding responsibly by providing daily news of Hayden in Steamboat Today, which is Routt County's newspaper."
Boyer said the decision to stop publishing the Hayden Valley Press will have no impact on the quantity or quality of Hayden news provided to Steamboat Pilot & Today readers.
"There will be no change in our commitment to providing excellent, timely news coverage of the Hayden community," he said.
Reporter Blythe Terrell has covered the newspaper's Hayden and business beats since March 2008. Boyer said her job duties will remain the same.
Because almost every story that appears in the Hayden Valley Press also appears in the Steamboat Today, Boyer said Hayden readers won't miss out on any content they previously received in the weekly paper. The few features that were exclusive to the Hayden Valley Press, such as Town Talk with Laurie Hallenbeck, will find a regular home in the Steamboat Pilot & Today, he said.
"I know this news will be met with disappointment from some of our Hayden readers," Boyer said. "But I assure them, they will see no decrease in the quantity of news from their community in the pages of Routt County's only daily newspaper."
A letter to Hayden Valley Press subscribers was mailed today. The letter allows subscribers to choose between converting their existing subscription into one for the Sunday Pilot & Today, or receiving a refund for the amount of weeks left on their Hayden Valley Press subscription.
Boyer also encouraged Hayden residents to call or write in with suggestions for how Hayden coverage can be improved. He can be reached at 970-871-4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WorldWest LLC purchased the Hayden Valley Press from Howard Publications in April 1997.