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 March 1, 1996

Even competitors lost in demise of Northern Colorado Business

This region’s business-newspaper war has suffered its latest casualty.
Published by former Coloradoan business editor Joe Lewandowski, Northern Colorado Business has published its last issue; Lewandowski announced last month that he lacked the financial resources to continue and would turn to other endeavors.
Contrary to what some might think, we’re not dancing in the aisles at the demise of one of our competitors. To be sure, it’s one less business newspaper vying for the advertising dollar, and the confusion over our two publications’ names now will end.
But Fort Collins especially has seen its share of newspapers and magazines shut down in recent months. Witness Larimer County Business World and the Triangle Review. The loss of another newspaper, even if it is a competitor, brought us little joy.
I know for a fact that competition makes for better newspapers, because I know what features I’ve added, what time tables I’ve moved up and what strategies I’ve pursued just to give us an edge in competition with two other publications.
Like myself, Joe Lewandowski harbored a dream for many years of owning his own newspaper. For my part — and, I suspect, his as well — the dream was all-consuming. It was what I thought about as I got up in the morning, as I rode the bus to and from The Denver Business Journal in downtown Denver and as I went to bed at night. My wife and I talked about it constantly, and it was only with the greatest impatience that I awaited each meeting of our prospective partnership.
It took guts for us to come up here, to uproot our families and to quit very good jobs. And it took guts for Joe Lewandowski to quit the Coloradoan and proceed with his plans even in the face of at least two well-heeled competitors. (There almost were five such publications, but that’s a different story.)
Had Joe launched his newspaper without us and Today’s Business muddying the water, Northern Colorado Business likely would have grown and prospered. This area needs a business newspaper, and he knew that. We all knew that. But with Today’s Business backed by Lehman Communications Corp. and our newspaper backed not only by myself and Jeff Nuttall but by The Boulder County Business Report and its president, Corporate Express tycoon Jirka Rysavy, Joe was at a disadvantage that couldn’t be overcome.
Guts? Think about what he did. He didn’t back down when he heard of his pending competition, and he didn’t back down during. He put out a solid business newspaper, even scooping the world with word that Symbios Logic Inc. would remain in Fort Collins, at least for the time being. He took risks, something a newspaper must do to justify, as legendary Denver newspaperman Eugene Cervi put it, “its dominant existence in a community.”
Joe knew that. And although he might want to put this experience behind him, he should do so not with regret but with pride. We at the Business Report wish him nothing — nothing — but the best.Christopher Wood can be reached at (970) 221-5400, (970) 356-1683 or via e-mail at ncbr@aol.com.

This region’s business-newspaper war has suffered its latest casualty.
Published by former Coloradoan business editor Joe Lewandowski, Northern Colorado Business has published its last issue; Lewandowski announced last month that he lacked the financial resources to continue and would turn to other endeavors.
Contrary to what some might think, we’re not dancing in the aisles at the demise of one of our competitors. To be sure, it’s one less business newspaper vying for the advertising dollar, and the confusion over our two publications’ names now will end.
But Fort Collins especially has seen its share of newspapers and magazines shut…

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