‘The Times,’ it is a changing
New year brings new ownership of Fruita’s community newspaper
By Tim Merris
In a surprise move, the Fruita Times publisher, Robert F. Sweeney, sold the Fruita Times and Palisade Tribune to Grand Junction Media, Inc., on Thursday, Dec. 27. Grand Junction Media, Inc., also owns the wand the Nickel.
Sweeney owns three other publications on the Front Range, The Villager, the Denver Herald-Dispatch and the Colorado Gambler. He told the Fruita Times, “It was really taxing us here to do both those papers at the same time as the papers here. Both Gerri (Sweeney’s wife) and I wish to slow down, at least just a little bit.” Sweeney went on to say, “I miss them already but know that we need to lighten up the work load and move on with our lives.”
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel owner Jay Seaton said that the Fruita Times and the Palisade Tribune would continue to run separately from the Sentinel and would be supported by the Nickel. The Fruita Times and Palisade Tribune will continue to be run out of their respective offices.
Doug Freed, general manager of the Nickel, was named publisher of both papers and met with the Fruita Times staff to assure them that it will be business as usual and that he plans to work with the staff offering his years of experience to put out the best local publications possible.
Freed has been in the newspaper business since 1979 including both dailies and weeklies. He stated, “I believe in supporting the staff to the fullest and working closely to continue to put out a quality and timely product.” He also stated, “No one will lose their job but we will be integrating resources that will enhance our news and advertising services across the board. Our focus is on our subscribers and advertisers as it is with the Sentinel and the Nickel.”
Freed and Seaton emphasized that both these publications have been around for more than 100 years and said they want them to be a part of the communities for another 100 years.
The papers will continue to be produced by Sweeney during the transition but all operations of both papers will be brought to the Grand Valley by the end of January.