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The Compass Experiment Selects Longmont, Colorado as Second Community for Local News Site
Longmont Leader Acquires Assets of Longmont Observer and Announces Late Spring Launch
New Digital News Outlet to Cover Important Issues That Affect Residents of Longmont, Colorado

LONGMONT, Colo., April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Longmont Leader, a new digital-only news outlet serving the residents of Longmont, Colo., will launch later this spring. The announcement was made today by Mandy Jenkins, general manager of The Compass Experiment, a local news laboratory founded by McClatchy (OTC-MNIQQ), the second largest local news organization in the US, and funded by Google News Initiative'sLocal Experiments Project.

Jenkins also announced that The Longmont Leaderhas acquired all the assets of the Longmont Observer, a community-operated, free, nonprofit, hyperlocal news website run by local volunteers. The assets include email lists, donor lists, archives, the URL and social media accounts. On the launch date, visitors to the Longmont Observer website URL will be redirected to the new Longmont Leader website.

"We were drawn to Longmont because we want to help bring together its residents around a shared passion for the city, its people and its local businesses," said Jenkins.  "But as the city has been growing, local news sources have been shrinking. We intend to build on the great work of the Longmont Observer with a news site that is hyper-focused on all things Longmont. During this challenging time brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, trustworthy local news and information is needed more than ever."

Longmont is a town 33 miles north of Denver with a population of 86,000 according to the 2010 census.  A third of the community's residents are Latinx.

"We're excited to pass the torch to the Longmont Leader and look forward to collaborating with them to ensure that local news thrives in our community," said Scott Converse, founder of the Longmont Observer and Longmont Public Media. 

The Longmont Leader is currently hiring a local team that includes a business development leader as well as an editor, assistant editor and two reporters, at least one of whom will be a bilingual Spanish/English reporter. Articles will offer comprehensive coverage of local news and events. Because the region has a strong culture of participatory media, Longmont Leader will also be a home for community columns and citizen journalism produced in partnership with Longmont Public Media. 

"Local news has provided a vital service to communities around the world at this challenging time," said Megan Favat, Strategic Partner Lead, Global Partnerships, Google. "We are delighted that the great journalism that the people of Longmont have counted on for three years will continue and grow with the Longmont Leader and the team that Mandy is putting together."

The Longmont Leader is the second news operation funded by The Compass Experiment.  Mahoning Matters, an Ohio-based digital-only news outlet, launched last October to serve residents of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.  

About The Compass Experiment
The Compass Experiment is an initiative co-founded by McClatchy and Google News Initiative's Local Experiments Project to explore sustainable business models for local news.

About McClatchy
McClatchy operates 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with strong independent local journalism in the public interest and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy publishes iconic local brands including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif. #ReadLocal

About the Google News Initiative
The Google News Initiative is our effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age through evolving business models to drive sustainable growth, elevating quality journalism and empowering news organizations with new technology.

Contact:
Jeanne Segal
jsegal@mcclatchy.com
M) 202-271-8880

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SOURCE McClatchy

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