College Days: Gannett Wants Colorado State Newspaper

The Coloradoan, a Gannett property, is negotiating with Colorado State University to create a strategic partnership with the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the state school's main student newspaper. In effect, Gannett would be buying the paper. As the rest of the newspaper industry takes a beating, Gannett's interest reflects the continued popularity of campus papers--and their importance to advertisers targeting young adults.

The negotiations are at a very early stage, according to a Colorado State spokesman, who said the university had not planned to sell the paper or otherwise enter new partnerships. Nonetheless, it's part of a broader Gannett push to acquire campus newspapers, including the Florida State FSView and Florida Flambeau in 2006, and University of Central Florida's Central Florida Future in 2007.

Altogether, the Florida papers, bought by Gannett's Tallahassee Democrat, have a circulation of about 70,000 (the Central Florida Future is biweekly, the FSView daily). Equivalent to a small-city newspaper, this circulation is especially desirable because it reaches a young, educated audience with disposable income. The Rocky Mountain Collegian has a daily circulation of 10,500.



Gannett isn't the only media company focusing on college newspapers.

In November, Alloy Media + Marketing became the official ad partner of the College Newspaper Business and Advertising Managers, the business network of college newspapers. The alliance gives Alloy clients access to distribution via 130 member papers around the country, adding to Alloy's existing relationships with 2,400 college publications nationwide.

According to the 2006 College Newspaper Readership Survey from College Publisher, a content management company, 77% of undergraduate respondents had read their campus newspaper in the last month, with 90% overall considering it a primary source for local and school news.

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