Updated: December 1, 2011 at 12:00 am
Determined to cement The Gazette’s position as the dominant source of news in the Pikes Peak region, Interim Publisher Mike Burns on Thursday announced a companywide reorganization designed to more deeply connect with readers.
Carmen Boles, who currently serves as Senior Director of Interactive Content and Audience Development, has been named Director of Content for The Gazette.
The goal is to reposition The Gazette’s content center strategically to create and facilitate community conversation around issues that are important to the region, and deliver relevant information that serves the needs of readers on any platform.
“We need to evolve to meet the changing needs of our audience,” Boles said. “We’re embarking on a transformation. We want to collaborate in real-time with the community in defining what is relevant.”
Boles said that includes face-to-face meetings with the public, as well as using social media tools and other methods.
The moves are intended to facilitate a culture attuned to accelerated change in both market conditions and technology.
“There has been a proliferation of choices, both for advertisers and news consumers,” Burns said. “We need to be more agile to respond to the needs of our community.“
Boles, an eight-year veteran of The Gazette, is a logical choice to lead the company’s digital-first initiative because it builds on her recent project for parent company Freedom Communications, where she oversaw the immersion of all Freedom newspaper properties in social media.
“Social media is a powerful tool to help us achieve goals we already have,” Boles said. “It makes us available everywhere, helping us serve customers and collaborate in real time with the community, and allows us to listen to our community and find out about their needs.”
Jeff Thomas has resigned his post as editor of The Gazette, effective Dec. 31. Under Thomas’s leadership, the news organization established a reputation for thorough reporting and a deep commitment to responsible journalism.
"Colorado Springs deserves great journalism because free people need independent information to order their lives and their communities,” Thomas said. “The Gazette has been a watchdog of, and a great friend to, the Pikes Peak Region for well more than a century, serving this wonderful place by providing honest, vigorous journalism. I am grateful for having played a part in that role.”
Boles said she plans to continue to deliver the same quality journalism readers have come to expect.