What Denver Is Reading

June 30 2010, 4:12 PM

As I alluded to in a previous post, we recently received the results of market study conducted by an independent research firm that measures the total readership of Denver's many print publications. Their findings, quite honestly, represent a seismic shift in the local media market.

For years, the weekly or monthly publication with largest readership in Denver was Westword. That’s hardly surprising. Westword is a strong brand that’s been serving the Mile-High City for several decades. The fact that they’re published weekly and distributed free-of-charge also helps to build a large and devoted audience (an audience, I should point out, that includes me).

But Denver now has a new leader. According to The Media Audit, a research firm that measures print and broadcast audiences in more than 80 markets across the country, 5280 now leads all weekly and monthly publications in Denver with a total readership of 381,439 adults per issue. Westword drops to #2 with 227,602 readers, followed by Colorado Homes & Lifestyles at 112,978. From there, the numbers fall off pretty quickly.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t initially skeptical about those results. To have leapfrogged Westword by such a significant margin seems hard to believe. But another study, this one conducted by the respected Scarborough Research firm, comes to a similar conclusion (albeit by a smaller margin).

We’ve put together a press release with more details on both studies, as well as a chart that shows readership for 13 local publications. You can check them out for more information. The 17th anniversary edition of 5280 hit newsstands last Friday, and suffice it to say, this news is just about the best anniversary present any of us could have wished for. We’re hugely gratified to know that so many people in Denver have made 5280 a regular part of their lives. Our sincere thanks go to all of you.