Colorado Public Radio is bolstering its local journalism with the acquisition of Denverite, a member-supported local news website.
Denverite will continue to publish under its own brand and will increase its coverage of arts and culture in Denver. Its journalists will join CPR’s newsroom, and Denverite editor Dave Burdick will become managing editor of digital operations at CPR News, according to a station release.
CPR will take over the site Monday from owner Spirited Media, according to a company release. The site employs three reporters, two editors, a visual journalist and a VP of sales and events. Its coverage includes local politics, business and culture.
Both parties declined to disclose terms of the deal.
“We’re thrilled to have Denverite join the CPR family, where it will get the enhanced reach and infrastructure of the CPR network, while still retaining the unique voice and focus its audience knows and loves,” said CPR CEO Stewart Vanderwilt.
“Denverite provides extensive coverage of what’s happening in the city, giving CPR News even more opportunity to focus on stories with statewide interest,” said CPR Executive Editor Kevin Dale. “The resulting impact of more local and statewide coverage across all platforms will benefit the entire state, particularly at a time when local news needs as much support as possible.”
Three-year grants from the Gates Family Foundation and the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation totaling $350,000 will help cover CPR’s operating costs for the site, according to CPR. The station will fund Denverite out of its annual operating budget after the grant period.
Spirited Media said Denverite is its most successful site for membership, with nearly 1,200 people contributing to the site since it launched its membership program a year ago. The site draws more than 150,000 monthly unique visitors and has 15,000 email subscribers, according to CPR.
According to Spirited Media’s release, the company is looking for local buyers for its other news sites, Billy Penn in Philadelphia and The Incline in Pittsburgh. It said it has found a more lucrative business in consulting for media companies. Spirited Media is also working with WBEZ in Chicago on digital strategy, said Chris Krewson, VP of strategy at Spirited Media.
The acquisition comes as CPR expands its newsroom with an investigative unit and a reporter based in Washington, D.C.
Other public media outlets have also been acquiring local news sites. New York’s WNET announced Tuesday that it acquired the digital newsroom NJ Spotlight. Last year, Gothamist, LAist and DCist were acquired by WNYC in New York; KPCC in Pasadena, Calif.; and WAMU in Washington, D.C.