Summit Daily parent company, Swift Communications, sold to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers

Most Summit Daily News operations are expected to remain the same

The Summit Daily News, 331 W. Main St. in Frisco, is pictured in March 2020.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details and comments about the sale.

Swift Communications, the parent company of the Summit Daily News and other Colorado mountain town newspapers, is selling its local media and publishing businesses to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers, the companies announced Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The deal is scheduled to close Dec. 31, and once that happens, Ogden will continue to operate the existing Swift publications under the name Swift Communications. In Colorado, that includes The Aspen Times, Craig Press, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Sky-Hi News in Granby, Snowmass Sun, Steamboat Pilot & Today, Summit Daily and Vail Daily. Also included in the sale are publications in Park City, Utah; Lake Tahoe and Grass Valley, California; and Carson City, Nevada.

Once the deal closes, operations at the Summit Daily will be largely the same, and the daily paper will remain free to community members.

“We acquired these markets because we looked at them as good markets with good community newspapers with a business model that works,” said Scott Stanford, who is a regional publisher for Ogden and will manage Colorado Mountain News Media as well as the Utah papers and more. “We’re here to learn, but we’re here to also make sure that you’ve got a community newspaper for the long term, so we’re going to make changes as they make sense.”

Stanford has robust knowledge in the newspaper industry, having led one of the papers he now oversees. Stanford previously worked for the Steamboat Pilot for over 12 years. During that time, he worked as an editor and advertising director before becoming director of sales and marketing. He ultimately left after serving as the paper’s general manager. The Steamboat Pilot sold to Swift Communications in 2016.

“When I first found out about this, I said (Ogden) is going to acquire great talent with this move,” Stanford said in a company briefing Tuesday. “My time in Steamboat Springs gave me the opportunity to work with many of you, and those people remain special people to me. I can’t wait to get out and see you all again and also meet the other people who I don’t know.”

Stanford joined Ogden Newspapers in 2016. In 2019, he was named the president and CEO of Fort Wayne Newspapers, which include The News-Sentinel and Journal Gazette.

Ogden Newspapers is a fifth generation, family owned and operated newspaper company founded in 1890. The company has newspapers all over the country, including in Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Before the purchase of Swift Communications, the company owned a few newspapers in Utah, including the Daily Herald in Provo, the Standard-Examiner in Ogden and The Pyramid in Mount Pleasant.

During a company briefing Tuesday, CEO of Ogden Newspapers Robert Nutting said he and his family, which owns the company, are excited to bring the Summit Daily and all its sister publications on board under the family umbrella.

“We really believe in these markets, these communities and these publications, and we believe that there is a strong future for community newspapers, for local journalism and for your markets in particular,” Nutting said.

The Summit Daily was founded by Jim Pavelich in August 1989. In 1994, the Summit Daily, along with its sister paper the Vail Daily, was purchased by Swift Communications and moved into what’s now The Peak School building. The paper moved into its current location in 2013.

The Summit Daily began as a five day per week paper and added a sixth issue in summer 1992. It added a seventh by December 1994, making it a true daily. The Summit Daily is now published 365 days a year with an average free distribution of 8,500 papers daily.

Ogden will continue to operate the existing Swift publications under the name Swift Communications.

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