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New daily paper launching in Eagle County
Jim Pavelich, founder of the Vail Daily, told the blogger he's launching a new daily newspaper in Eagle County. He just needs a couple of good reporters.
By Dan Davis

New daily paper launching in Eagle County

By David O. Williams

April 7, 2008 —  Incredibly, itís been almost eight years since Vail and Eagle County last had two competing daily newspapers. That, apparently, is all about to change.

Iíll string this out a little longer so my former competitors and, in some cases, coworkers over at the Vail Daily can experience heart palpitations for just a few more seconds.

One such former coworker told me a few months ago that when my partners and I launched in September it sparked a company-wide staff meeting at the Eagle-Vail Taj Mahal (aka the Vail Daily offices) - a strategy session to plot our certain and crushing defeat.

Well, weíve made it a ski season, and the only thing thatís getting crushed is our server due to increasing visits to the site. But donít worry Dailyites, RealVail isnít going to a print version (at least not yet), but rather, your competition will be coming from your esteemed founder.

Many of you working there now will have no idea who the hell Iím talking about, but his name is Jim Pavelich, and heís the guy who in 1981 had the brilliant idea of starting what amounted to a flyer at the time. It was one sheet, front and back, with Town Talk on the front.

I ran into Pavelich (aka JP) at the Starbucks in Edwards the other day, and he let fly that heís starting a new daily paper in Eagle County. His non-compete after selling the Vail Daily to Swift in the mid-1990s has expired and heís going for it.

He told me it was no secret and that I could shout it from the highest mountaintop, so rather than scale any peaks I thought Iíd just toss it into my blog. JPís looking for a couple of good reporters willing to bring it without any bias, and then itís off to the presses.

For me, such ventures kindle a little nostalgia. When I mentioned itís been almost eight years since Eagle County readers and advertisers had any choice in local newspapers, I know this because I was editor of the last competing daily: The Daily Trail.

It was a daily offshoot of the Knox familyís Vail Trail, and it lasted about two and a half years. We started it in June of 1998 and pulled the plug in December of 2000. Critically acclaimed but financially doomed, it was a fun and frenetic couple of years.

Pavelich, who owns suburban dailies in California and a LoDo throw-down called the Denver Daily News in Denver, is facing some long odds with his new startup, but this guy has the Midas touch when it comes to free dailies, so who am I to doubt him?

I worked for JP for a few years in the early 1990s, when the VD was still in the old Crossroads building and we kept our skis by our desks and a bottle of Jagermeister in our desk drawers. The bad old days, but a hell of a lot of fun.

Now that the new, corporate VD has acquired every bit of local media in the valley, I've been relegated to the Web, where I think I'll hang for a while(at least for now).

Editor's Note: read more about this story by clicking HERE.



Comment on article  7 Comments on "New daily paper launching in Eagle County"


Debbie Marquez — April 7, 2008

Best of luck to JP. I remember the first Vail Daily. If he starts small again, he could make it a great alternative.

I haven't checked the Daily, but I assume they wouldn't have reported the news?

Oh and DaveO, regarding those server crushes, I have been linking to your stories frequently. Mostly at Colorado political blogs. I hope it's helping.


vail dude — April 7, 2008

I say the more the merrier. If Aspen can handle having two newspapers, so can Vail!


P-Dizzle — April 8, 2008

Awesome. Simply awesome. FINALLY the Vail Daily will be forced to realize that they are not the only game in town.


Dan Sullivan — April 8, 2008

This guy is quibbling so rabidly over a benign headline like "I hate Vail" that he want's to start his own newspaper? What about "Snowboarding and marijuana: Big surprise, huh?" (0uch.) Or better yet "Johnson comes up big" (and nobody lost their job over that one). Too much fun. Too much Jager.

JP, I came slightly after your time (1994-1999), but good luck all the same; "monopoly" and "newspaper" are such incongruent concepts, with the communities supposedly served the big losers.


RKG — April 10, 2008

YES! It's about time someone with a little business acumen combined with journalistic knowhow take on VD. Yeah, we all worked there at one time or another, but it was the Daily Trail that ruled the roost when it came to coverage. Dave O is right, critically acclaimed, but not financially sound. They couldn't touch us on content! Um, yeah, I'm bias as hell. Good luck, Jim.


David O. — April 12, 2008

The Daily finally did something on April 11, Debbie, after much hand wringing first, I'm sure. Sullivan, I never cease to be amazed at the misplaced loyalty of former CMNM drones, especially one like you who was screwed over by the company. In my day we were loyal to the craft, not the money-grubbing publishers. The headline and mistake you refer to were long after JP was out of the local media scene, so not sure of their relevance. But I will say that the Swift-owned VD condoned plagiarism without firing anyone. JP always had a business-first, journalism-second mentality that still permeates the VD, so I'm not expecting a slew of Pulitzers from his new pub, but a little competition is good for everyone - readers, advertisers and journalists.


Dan Sullivan — April 12, 2008

As former VD editor and long-time VD teet sucker Andy Hood might say: "Huh?" I may be nostalgic for some comrads back at the place where I cut my journalistic teeth--and did some work of which I'm still proud--but certainly not for the corporate mentality that took advantage of reporters, especially the newbies right out of J-school, and that put me out on my arse as soon as the Daily Trail folded (thanks again for the flattering job offer). Outside the Vail bubble I find that's just corporate America, pal. Not condoning it, it's just reality. More power to those of us who can figure out how to opt out.
Perhaps your jabs at JP--who I've never met, by the way--will serve to kindle something better for the Vail Valley. If you sign up for the ride, be careful. My pal who's on his way over was the founding editor of Philadelphia's hugely successful alt weekly the City Paper and was given 10 grand and shown the door when he and the publisher had a rift. A few years later the thing sold for a cool 4 million. By the way, "Johnson comes up big" was my headline, and meant to be a joke for the copy desk after James Johnson pulled his second victory, this time over a candidate who threw every dirty punch but the "N" word. It was brutal. The copy desk, unfortunately, did not catch my quip, and it made the front page. I don't think Bob or Rob were ever the wiser.
Now who wrote that snowboard headline?



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