You’ll have to pardon those of us who have invested much of our careers at the Colorado Springs Independent for the wistful feeling we share this week.
The paper itself is fine. But there’s a vacant office on the main floor at 235 S. Nevada Ave.
Matthew Schniper has left the building.
Matt, our editor for three years but a member of the Indy staff since 2006, and a contributor since 2004, has assumed a different yet familiar role as food editor. He’ll coordinate the paper’s trend-setting food reviews and information, as he’s done for the past decade in developing our strongest arts and entertainment coverage. Now he’ll put all his efforts into that, in the community and the region.
The only constant in life, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus first said 2,500 years ago, is change. So it is now at the Indy, not unlike so many other print publications in these fast-evolving times. To stay healthy, newspapers and their staffs everywhere have to adjust, adapt and continue to innovate.
For us at Colorado Publishing House, that has meant consolidating some positions. Effective with this week’s issues, the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s editor, Bryan Grossman, has taken on the same role with the Independent and now is editor-in-chief of both papers. In the big-picture view, we’re embarking on new ways to marshal the resources of all eight newspapers under our CPH umbrella, with shared efficiencies as a top priority.
My job here, as executive editor emeritus, is to share and explain these changes. I’m still officially retired, helping through the transition (during a time when many are also taking vacations) because that’s what you do when you’re considered emeritus.
[pullquote-1] There’s no reason to sugarcoat the obvious. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t have happened this way. Matt didn’t propose to step aside as editor. He’s done an admirable job being in charge of the Indy editorial product and staff. He had already proven himself building the food section, covering the arts and entertainment scene, writing many excellent features along the way and overseeing the paper's much-anticipated special issues.
As editor, Matt knew he had to broaden his scope, paying full attention to the news side as well as building relationships across the local political and business scene. He did that superbly, from taking part in Leadership Pikes Peak’s signature program to making a series of positive revisions to the Indy’s content, appearance and regular features.
But when the need arose to revamp the company’s structure, it made sense for Matt to focus on what he has done so well — being the unquestioned No. 1 authority on all things related to food and drink and restaurants for the entire region. Rest assured, we’re working on ways to utilize all that expertise even more, hopefully including events and other interactions with you, the readers. In other words, after 15 years with the Indy, Matt isn’t saying goodbye. You’ll still see his bylines on a weekly basis.
As for the Independent, don’t expect to see an immediate flood of changes from Bryan Grossman. He’s been with the Business Journal since 2014, rising steadily through being reporter, digital editor and managing editor to becoming editor last year. He’s an excellent writer, and he’s as good as anyone at asking sharp, intelligent questions. He also has a wealth of local knowledge and historical awareness, having grown up here and coming out of Mitchell High School before going to the University of Colorado at Boulder.
What we’ve seen from the inside is that no challenge has been too much for Bryan. This one won't be easy, but he can handle it because being editor-in-chief plays to his considerable strengths, especially the multitasking and organizational demands.
Watching from close range the past few weeks was totally encouraging to me, as Matt shared everything he could with Bryan (and me) to make the switch-over go as smoothly as possible. It’s been the textbook example of how a transition can work when everyone cares and wants it to go well.
So yes, we’re dealing with mixed emotions here. But the Independent’s philosophy still is that we are here to serve, inform, entertain and surprise our 125,000-plus loyal readers, many of whom have embraced us for all of our 26 years. In that sense, we're just getting started.
There’s still a vitally important mission for the Indy in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region — for years and even decades to come.