Larry Ryckman, editor and co-founder of The Colorado Sun, shares insights into the digital outlet’s journey. Transitioning to a nonprofit model on its fifth anniversary, The Colorado Sun has not only survived but thrived, garnering national attention for its approach to news coverage and its business model. With more individual members than the much-lauded Texas Tribune, The Colorado Sun's strategy for growing reader revenue without a paywall is a testament to its commitment to accessible journalism.

Ryckman delves into the founding of The Colorado Sun. He discusses the challenges and learnings from moving away from the page view business to focus on engaging content that resonates with readers, emphasizing the importance of loyalty and community in the digital age.

The conversation also covers The Sun's business model, which balances memberships, advertising, and grants, setting a sustainable path forward for nonprofit newsrooms. Ryckman's personal journey from a seasoned journalist to navigating the business side of running a news outlet offers valuable lessons on leadership, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of quality journalism.

Episode chapters:
(02:44) – Founding The Colorado Sun
(08:01) – The successful business model of The Sun
(09:53) – “If we’re going to be digital, let’s make it a great experience.”
(18:44) – Growing reader revenue without a paywall
(24:10) – Learning the business side of journalism
(29:29) – Working without a net as an entrepreneur
(36:11) – From LLC to B Corp to nonprofit
(45:41) – Rapid-fire questions

Listen to the episode here:

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Bio:

Larry RyckmanLarry Ryckman is Editor and co-founder of The Colorado Sun.

Previously he was senior editor at The Denver Post, managing editor at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and city editor at the Greeley Tribune. Ryckman spent 22 years at The Associated Press, where he was assistant managing editor, a national editor and supervisor of the AP's national desk in New York.

He spent nearly four years as a Moscow correspondent for AP and helped cover the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of a new Russia. He also supervised AP's coverage of the Columbine High School massacre and directed AP's coverage of the presidential election recount in Florida in 2000

 

Full transcript:

(recorded via Riverside.fm; transcript automated via Castmagic.io, mostly unedited)

Larry Ryckman [00:00:00]:To me, it's about loyalty. Right? So we're nearly not in the page view business anymore. I mean, I love page views. You know, it's exciting when a story goes viral and you see 100,000 page views or a million page views we've seen. But we're really not in the page view business. Page views are about serving just those quick, cheap clicks that, that you can generate through doing a story about the latest zoo baby or something like that. Those things generate a lot of page views, but they're sort of hollow page views. And at most legacy newspapers, you correct me if I'm wrong, but the average time that people spend on stories is maybe 45 seconds. 

And very consistently over the past five years, the average time that people spend on Colorado sun stories has been close to 3 minutes. And to me, that means either we have really slow readers or we're producing content that is engaging for people, and I I think that that's the case. 

Tim Regan-Porter [00:01:02]: Welcome to the Local News Matters podcast, where we explore pathways to stronger journalism, better businesses, and healthier communities. I'm Tim Regan-Porter, CEO of the Colorado Press Association. 

This episode, I talk with Larry Ryckman, editor of the journalist-owned news outlet The Colorado Sun. Transitioning to a nonprofit model on its fifth anniversary, the Sun has not only survived but thrived. It has garnered national attention for its approach to news coverage and its business model. It now boasts more individual members than the much-lauded Texas Tribune. It’s approach to growing reader revenue without a paywall is one I hope more publishers will take a hard look at.  

If you like this episode and what we're doing more generally, please follow in your favorite podcast app, leave us a five star review on Apple podcasts and tell your friends about us. This is a side project and labor of love and your support means a lot. You can find past episodes, full transcripts and relevant links, and sign up for our newsletter at localnewsmatterspodcast.com or for lazy typists like me at lnmpod.com. You can also follow us on most social media channels @lnmpod. 

And now I bring you Larry Rykman of the Colorado Sun. 

Welcome, Larry. Thank you for joining me. 

Ryckman [00:02:17]: Hey. Thank you. 

Regan-Porter [00:02:19]: I've wanted to have you on for a while. What The Colorado Sun has done is notable on a number of fronts, and you just celebrated back in September of last year your fifth anniversary and became a nonprofit, from a moving from a certified B Corp, at the same time. So a very momentous time for you. 

Ryckman [00:02:41]: Yeah. We've, we've been busy. No doubt. 

Founding The Colorado Sun 

Regan-Porter [00:02:44]: Listeners probably have heard of The Sun and, you know, if they're outside of the state in the context of the The Denver Post Rebellion, as it's been termed. And so talk just talk a little bit about the founding of The Sun and why you and the other founders there, thought it was important to start something new. 

Ryckman [00:03:05]: So back in 2018, I was senior editor at the Denver Post, and I've been at journalism for 40 plus years. I was an assistant managing editor for the Associated Press, the world's largest news organization. I was a foreign correspondent. I oversaw AP's National Desk. I've done a few things in journalism. And in 2018, found me a senior editor at the at the Denver Post, which was, well, in fact, still owned by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that owns, you know, a lot of newspapers, around the country. And The Denver Post had been cut and cut and cut from a a height of 307 journalists in its newsroom at one point to about a hundred at the start of 2018. We were told to move out of our building, the iconic white Denver Post building right downtown across the street from the state capitol. 

Ryckman [00:03:59]: And, you know, many of us felt like, you know, better to lose a building than to lose more people. If this saves jobs, okay. You know, we've worked in worse places than a printing plant, which is where they were moving the newsroom to. But then just weeks later, Alden Global Capital ordered us to cut another third from the newsroom. And we we realized, I realized, and many others realized at that point, that nothing that we did was going to have any impact on all those decisions—not working faster, not being smarter, not being more digitally savvy. So personally, for me, my choice was I could stay there, I could sit around and complain about it, or I could go do something different. And I decided, and a number of my other colleagues decided, the same thing, that there had to be a better way. And, frankly, you know, we also felt that Colorado deserved better, that Colorado residents deserved deeper, more in-depth journalism than a hedge fund was willing to to provide. 

Ryckman [00:05:00]: And I I wanna be clear. I still support my friends and colleagues at The Denver Post. I mean, there are a lot of talented people over there doing good work, doing the best that they can. But I understood all too well that, you know, Alden had its own plans, and those plans didn't really revolve around doing great journalism. And, I didn't wanna be part of that. So we struck out with nine of my colleagues from The Denver Post, some of the top people, my fellow senior editor, Dana Caufield, a number of Pulitzer Prize winners, you know, top people from the Denver Post. And we all decided to throw our lot in together, and then decided there had to be a better way. So we had access to some capital. 

Ryckman [00:05:45]: We can get into that if you'd like. But, basically, there was a a guy who made billions of dollars through cryptocurrency and decided that he wanted to be a savior for local journalism. And, he gave us a very large and generous grant. He had no influence whatsoever over the journalism that we did. Doesn't live in Colorado either, but gave us the money to to stand up our operation and make our case to the people of Colorado. As you know, when I announced the creation, when we announced the creation of The Colorado Sun back in 2018, I said, look. We're not about cryptocurrency. We're not about, you know, any of these other things. 

Ryckman [00:06:20]: It's just about doing good journalism and making our case to the people of Colorado that either we provide value to people or we don't. And I know that, you know, many people in fact, many friends and journalists were skeptical that, you know, that we would even make it one year, much less two years, which is what we sort of announced out of the gate. And, here we are, you know, five-plus years into this. We started with ten full time people on staff. Today, we have 28 full people full-time people on staff, and we're doing pretty good business. We've got a 125/ 150,000 regular newsletter subscribers, close to 14,000 paying members. We see close to about a million unique visitors to our website every month. So, you know, we're gratified that—and we have no paywall, meaning that, you know, you can come and read our stories all day long if you want. 

Ryckman [00:07:16]: If you can't afford to pay or you just don't wanna pay, we feel strongly that, you know, all Coloradans deserve access to quality news, whether they can pay afford to pay for it or not. And we've been just thrilled with the response from Coloradans who stepped forward to help us and, have joined this Colorado Sun community that we've created. 

Regan-Porter [00:07:38]: Yeah. And I think by those measures, and I think certainly most people looking from the outside would say this has been a great success. And Melissa Davis from the Colorado Media Project loves to brag on The Sun, particularly with that 14,000 paying members, and says it's more than the Texas Tribune. I don't know if that's—I haven't seen their numbers lately. But… 

The successful business model of The Sun 

Ryckman [00:08:01]: I think that's true. And I I would say, you know, in fairness to the Texas Tribune and other, colleagues at nonprofit newsrooms around the country, you know, they started off with a very different business model and different approach than we have. You know, The Colorado Sun, from the very beginning, we we've stood apart from others in that, you know, we have focused on earned revenue, meaning, number one, subscriptions, memberships, people who choose to pay us to support our efforts. About 60% of our revenue comes from memberships. About 20% of our revenue comes from advertising, from sponsorships, and about 20% comes from grants. And as you and I both know, most nonprofit newsrooms would kill to have that kind of revenue stream. It's usually the other way around. The Texas Tribune and others, and I'm a great admirer of the Texas Tribune, Texas Tribune depends primarily on grants and donors for its revenue. 

Ryckman [00:09:05]: They were a bit late to the game on the membership front. But, I mean, they do great work. They've got a newsroom of about a 100 people, and it doesn't diminish the work that they do at all. We just have different business models. But we think that that's important because, you know, as much as I admire and we admire the Texas Tribune, Colorado's not Texas, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all model for how news outlets should be funded or how they should be run. And we took some of the things that we liked from the Texas Tribune with their blessing and their help, their guidance. We have borrowed some of their approaches to this business. And in other respects, as I said, with the focus on membership and earned revenue, we've gone our own way. 

Ryckman [00:09:50]: And I think it's served us well over the past five years. 

“If we’re going to be digital, let’s make it a great experience.” 

Regan-Porter [00:09:53]: So let's talk a little bit more about that business model and any evolutions that might have taken place. So you started digital only. You're still digital only. I think you've maybe entertained the idea of a print product. Why digital only? And do you think there could ever be a print product? 

Ryckman [00:10:10]: You know, so I got asked a version of that question on the day that we announced The Colorado Sun back in 2018. And my answer then is the same as it is today, which is, we will be whatever Colorado needs us to be. If Colorado needs The Colorado Sun to be in print, we'll do print. We know how to do print. You know, I've been doing this for a very long time. We have a lot of experience. We understand how to put together a print newspaper and whatnot. But I do think that, you know, the industry has changed. 

Ryckman [00:10:41]: I mean, we've seen it all around. Frankly, sadly, we're seeing the death of the old business models around the country. Legacy newspapers are in decline. You know, the LA Times, one of the great newspapers in the world, is experiencing big layoffs right now. And it's—print is a challenge. I mean, I love print. I'm actually still a print subscriber to the Denver Post. I do like print, but I also, I'm a runner. 

Ryckman [00:11:10]: I go running most mornings. And when I go running in my neighborhood, there are very few driveways that have a Denver Post on them anymore. And that's changed. I mean, when I was a kid, I was a newspaper boy, and I delivered newspapers in my neighborhood on my bike, and most people got a newspaper. That's not the way it is today. People just don't consume their news the same way that maybe you and I did back in the day. And that's just the reality. I will say from a business perspective, it's been liberating to not have print. 

Ryckman [00:11:44]: You and I, again, both know that print costs have been soaring over the past few years when the Pueblo Chieftain closed its print operation, a while back, that sent shock waves across the newspaper landscape in Colorado with publishers scrambling to find another option. We no longer have that problem at The Colorado Sun. You know, we're digital. It's easy for us to get our product out. Snowstorms are not a problem. People have access to us, you know, whenever they want it, however they want it. And I I will say from the very beginning that we did a few things. That if we're going to be digital, let's make this the best experience possible for people. 

Ryckman [00:12:28]: We have a very fast website. It's very clean. It's not cluttered up with a lot of things that other, frankly, legacy newspapers are cluttered up with. As I said, not picking up The Denver Post, I'm cheering on the people who are doing good work there, but I'm still a subscriber to The Denver Post. And when I go to the website, I have to swat away takeovers and pop ups and autoplay videos and all kinds of things that just get in the way. I like, I just wanna read the story, and The Denver Post is not alone. A lot of other legacy newspapers have similar issues on their websites, and we don't do that. You're not gonna see autoplay videos and takeovers and pop ups. 

Ryckman [00:13:08]: The only pop up you'll see at The Colorado Sun is a membership pop up, you know, saying, hey. Look. You can read this story for free, but if you'd like to become a member, consider, you know, for five, as low as $5 a month, you can become a member. And once you become a member, you'll never see another pop up. So we wanted to create a website that was fast and clean, easy to access. Even if you're on a 10-year-old phone, you can still read stories on The Colorado Sun. 

Regan-Porter [00:13:36]: I think that user experience is often ignored. And, you know, it's not just The Denver Post. A lot of chain newspapers and large newspapers in general, You know, they've their pages are they look like crap. They get the pop ups, you get the Tabula, you know, spammy, click-baity things at the bottom. And I don't understand what you know—I know it pays, but does it pay that well? 

Ryckman [00:13:59]: Well and, you know, see, that's that's the thing. You know? As we looked at that, it's like, well, yeah. And again, Denver Post is not alone. A lot of legacy newspapers do it. And, yeah, it does pay. But how much does it pay? And is there a bigger cost to the newspapers and to their relationship with their readers? And that's where I was coming from, and that's where we came from, which is, like, look, you and I, again, both know that ad revenue is in decline at legacy newspapers. You know, it's a reality. And digital ads are not taking the place of the money that used to flow in from print ads. 

Ryckman [00:14:35]: So from my perspective, like, why would I wanna alienate the very people that I need to support us, Meaning our readers. Why would I wanna make this more complicated for them? To me, let's start from the very beginning and from a place of respect. I wanna show our readers respect. And that means, Tim, if you come to The Colorado Sun, I'm not I'm not here to monetize you with every single click and every page view that you experience at The Colorado Sun. It's about providing you quality journalism, providing a quality reading experience, and for you to feel like, you know what? I learned something when I read that story, or I was entertained, or, you know, I gained a deeper understanding of something. They didn't scam me with a clickbait headline. They didn't, you know, barrage me with pop ups and takeovers and all of that sort of stuff. They gave me what I thought I was getting, which was access to a story and, you know, we delivered on it. 

Ryckman [00:15:33]: The thing—in fact, I was just talking to a colleague in Nebraska, who's at a digital news outlet in Nebraska. We were chatting about things. And I said, and he asked me, well, how do you measure success? And I said, you know, it's to me, it's about loyalty. Right? So we're nearly not in the page view business anymore. I mean, I love page views. You know, it's exciting when a story goes viral and you see 100,000 page views or a million page views we've seen. It's fun to see that. I'm a competitive guy, and it's nice to, you know, get the adrenaline going when you see something go viral. 

Ryckman [00:16:13]: But we're really not in the page view business. Page views are about serving, you know, again, just those quick, cheap clicks that you can generate through doing a doing a story about the latest zoo baby or something like that. You know. Oh, look at the picture, then you click on it, and then you click off, and you go do something else. Those things generate a lot of page views, but they're sort of hollow page views. And at most legacy newspaper, you correct me if I'm wrong, but the average time that people spend on stories is maybe 45 seconds. And very consistently over the past five years, the average time that people spend on Colorado Sun stories has been close to three minutes. And to me, that means either we have really slow readers or we're producing content that is engaging for people. 

Ryckman [00:16:59]: And I think that that's the case, that we are producing quality content, people stick with us, they read our stories, and feel like, you know, we delivered on the bargain. We we told you this is going to be an important story. You stuck with us and you read it. And that's relationship building. We're treating you with respect. We're giving you quality content. We're not asking really for much in return. Like, again, you can read it for free if you want to. 

Ryckman [00:17:24]: But if you find value in having access to quality journalism, not only for yourself, but for everybody across Colorado you know, a healthy democracy depends on an informed citizenry, and, if you value those things, if you value democracy, then maybe you'd consider joining our Colorado Sun community. So that's what's happened over the past five years, and that's what we've tried to do is build relationships, build trust, build loyalty, and deliver on our part of the promise. Five years ago, we were just crazy kids who, you know, stepped out and decided to create this, this digital news outlet. And, but five years later, we have a track record. And I'm proud of the work that we do. 

Regan-Porter [00:18:08]: Yeah. And, you know, that time on the articles, time-on-site metric, is an indication of that value, and the relationship. But, certainly, so is the 14,000 and the 60% of your revenue coming from memberships. 

Ryckman [00:18:24]: Yeah. And also I mean, another measure is the open rate on our newsletters. You know, it's it's much higher at The Colorado Sun than it is at most legacy newspapers. So, again, we're producing content that people find engaging, and they feel like, they know what they're getting when they come to The Colorado Sun. 

Growing reader revenue without a paywall 

Regan-Porter [00:18:44]: Yeah. And I wanna talk about the membership revenue piece of that, because the industry's increasingly looked to reader revenue, which I think has been a good move, but not necessarily in the way they've done it. I'm a little concerned. I just got off a call with John Garrett at Community Impact, which has been one of the big success stories in print. And, you know, I think The Colorado Sun, Community Impact, and Alabama Media Group, who have episode coming out, are all three of the organizations that come top of my mind when I think of success in the industry. And they've all really focused on, in very different ways, reaching the audiences and not putting barriers. So Community Impact is print, but they're distributing you know, they're doing the saturation model where, you know, the whole community gets the newspaper for free. And they're doing good work, and all the surveys and their advertising's paying for it. 

Regan-Porter [00:19:40]: Alabama Media Group completely got rid of print. But throughout, you know, their entire history on the web, they've really, they've not had the paywall becau se they wanted—they're an advertising driven model, and they wanted to to maximize their reach. And so you're—it's amazing that you're generating 60% of your revenue with membership without a paywall. And and you and I had a conversation with CPA and COLab members to encourage them to think about that model and a membership model. You know, The Guardian's done very well with that, which I know is a big influence on how you do yours. So you talk a little bit about reader revenue—It doesn't have to mean paywall and subscriptions and denying people access. 

Ryckman [00:20:22]: Yeah. I mean, from the very beginning, that was one of the big questions that we asked ourselves. You know, who are we? Why are we doing this? Should we have a paywall? You know, all the cool kids have paywalls. You know, legacy newspapers have paywalls for a reason. It's a pretty big stick. You know, after you've read three stories or five stories or whatever it is, no more access for you. They do it for a reason. And I had smart people say to us, look, you're crazy if you don't have a paywall. 

Ryckman [00:20:50]: You know, you're sending a message that your stories have no value, that if you if you aren't charging for them via a paywall, you are sending a message that your stories do not have value. I disagree with that. You know, I think that our quality speaks for itself. That people should, feel like they're getting something different at The Colorado Sun when they come to us. That, to me, if you come to us and read a story and you're like, I read the same thing over at the other guys, then I think we've dropped the ball. I think we failed. You know, my goal is not to dazzle people with quantity. You know, we we only produce somewhere between four and six stories a day. 

Ryckman [00:21:34]: When I was at The Denver Post, some days we generated a hundred URLs a day. I mean, some a lot of that was sports and business and wire content, you know, national, international news, etcetera. We don't do that at The Colorado Sun. We're just trying to focus on quality, not quantity. And to me, there was an equity piece as well, which is to say, not everybody can afford to pay for their news. And should news be only for those people who have enough disposable income to be well informed, you know, to be informed citizens, to be able to make smart choices, you know, in their state, local, and national elections. You know, personally, you know, and I don't. I'm not embarrassed to say I'm on team democracy. 

Ryckman [00:22:19]: You know, I believe that there is a reason that a free press was, you know, protected in the very first amendment to the constitution. It's not because the founding fathers were any big fans of newspapers. You know, newspapers beat up on those guys pretty big back in the day, and and maybe should've beat up on them even more. But the founding fathers understood that a healthy democracy needs a watchdog. It needs a free press. And I don't think that that watchdog should exist only for people who can afford to pay for it. So for us, even though there were people who said we should have a paywall, we we decided to go this other way. It was a gamble, I will say. 

Ryckman [00:22:57]: And, you know, we wondered. But, again, 5 years later, I think that we have demonstrated that people are willing to pay for quality. They're willing to pay for someone, an entity that treats them with respect and delivers on its promises, and that's, you know, that's part of building relationships. And, to me, that is what this is about, is building community, building relationships, treating each other with respect. We're nonpartisan. We don't tell people how to think, how to vote. We don't do endorsements. You know, we—the only thing we advocate for is for democracy and for a better Colorado. 

Ryckman [00:23:35]: We're not gonna tell you what a better Colorado looks like. You can decide that yourself, but we wanna give you the, you know, facts and information that can help you make good decisions, whether you can afford to pay for it or not. And I think it's a compelling argument, frankly, for people who can afford to pay for it. Like, look, it's actually in your self-interest to ensure that your neighbors, your friends, your family, also have access to quality information whether they can afford to pay for it or not. So I think that that argument has carried the day with a lot of people.  

Learning the business side of journalism 

Regan-Porter [00:24:10]: And, you know, one of the things—I'm a daily podcast listener to The Daily Sun-Up. And, you know, on your website, on the podcast, one of the things, you know, you and your team are not afraid to do is do that ask and point out the value you bring and the fact that this costs money. On the website, you know, I think you've admitted to basically just taking the Guardian's approach, and you, you know, you experimented. So you tried short asks and long asks, and the, you know, people who haven't been to the Guardian US, scroll down and you will see this long pitch. It's free, but this takes work. And if you wanna support us, donate. And you've found that that works. And a lot of journalists and, you know, publishers are afraid to do that ask. 

Regan-Porter [00:24:56]: We don't like talking about ourselves, but you've gotta put it in people's faces. 

Ryckman [00:24:59]: Yeah. It's really, it's been interesting. And, you know, for me, just as an individual, right, as I said, I've been in this business for 40-plus years. Journalists are really bad about asking for help. We don't like to do it. You know, historically, we haven't done it. I mean, for me, I avoided being dragged into the business side of journalism for all of that time. I had multiple opportunities to go work on the business side of journalism, and I I avoided it, because I really am passionate about words and the journalism part, and working with editors, and working with reporters. 

Ryckman [00:25:35]: But, you know, when we created The Colorado Sun five years ago, somebody needed to run this crazy pirate ship. And, you know, my colleagues decided that I was the best person to do that, so I've taken on that role. And, honestly, it's been a lot more fun than I thought it would be five years ago. I've learned a lot. I've learned lessons the hard way. I've been very fortunate in that I've had mentors and people who have helped me, and they've helped me to learn about running a business, but also learning it's okay to ask for help when you need it. You know, whether that's to a foundation that might be interested in giving a grant or whether it's just to individual readers saying, look. We wanna do this work for you. 

Ryckman [00:26:21]: That's why we do this. Nobody got into this business to get rich. Again, we're a nonprofit. We're doing this because we care about Colorado. We care about Coloradans, and we wanna make sure that they have access to quality news that they can use to make decisions. You know? But, we will give you this for free, but it does cost a lot of money for us to to do this kind of work, and won't you consider helping us? And, again, that seems like an obvious thing, but it's hard for journalists to get over that and ask for help, particularly when it comes to money. And I will say that, Evan Smith, who is the former editor and a cofounder of the Texas Tribune, said something very smart to me, probably five years ago, which was, look, it's easy to get money. It's really hard to get the right money. 

Ryckman [00:27:12]: And, you know, what he means by that is, you know, there are people who might wanna give you money, but, you know, with strings attached. And like, you know, yeah, here's some money, but, you know, we want you to write about us or, you know, write about this pet, you know, project or whatever it is. And that's not for us. You know, I've made it very clear to individuals, to foundations, others that, like, look. We're grateful for your support. If you want what we want, which is a better Colorado and a more informed Colorado, we're talking the same language. But, you know, if you do something that's newsworthy, you do something unethical, you've broken the law of what we're gonna write about you. And, frankly, even if you—if even if it doesn't come to that point, if you've done nothing illegal or unethical, but, you know, we might write stories that you don't like, that you disagree with, and you need to be okay with that. 

Ryckman [00:28:09]: There are gonna be stories you like, stories you don't like. That's just the way it is. We don't have any ideology other than trying to fairly and accurately report on the news of the day. And nobody agrees with everything that—not even I—that we published. But, you know, we're fair. We're accurate. We stand behind our work, and we're willing to—we're human beings. When we make mistakes, we'll correct them. 

Ryckman [00:28:39]: I mean, that to me, that is a very basic test for a legitimate news organization. Do you acknowledge errors? Do you correct them? Are you transparent about it? And we do those things. We're proud, actually, that, you know, we've been, we're part of the Truth Project and that, you know, we are very transparent about the efforts that we take to demonstrate, to show our work, to demonstrate that we were there and we witnessed this event. We have, here are the source documents. Here is why we know what we know and how we know it. So, again, that's all part of earning trust, treating people with respect, building community. Those are just fundamental things for us in this business. 

Working without a net as an entrepreneur 

Regan-Porter [00:29:29]: I wanna talk a little bit about the journey to the business side. I know lots of journalists who've done similar—not just the business side, but you're, you know, you're a start up entrepreneur, and that's a big leap to take, especially when you've worked at, you know, some of the biggest organizations, you know, AP. And so, to step out and be an entrepreneur, it's not only risky. There's a lot you don't know. So what is that learning journey? What has been surprising or most difficult for you? 

Ryckman [00:29:55]: I mean, frankly, it iwas scary. Right? I mean, for my whole career, I had worked for fairly large organizations that, you know, had their own HR departments, their own payroll departments, their own legal departments. And when I was with AP, once upon a time—this is back in when I was working in the Reno, Nevada bureau. There was some local official who complained about a story and threatened to sue us. And, I said, okay. Well, fine. You know, I'll put our lawyers in touch with you. And a former US attorney general called this guy, and he called me back. He said, call off the dogs. 

Ryckman [00:30:35]: I'm, you know, I'm—and that's the kind of, you know, backstop I grew up with in this business was having all of that support flying with a net. You know, being an entrepreneur and starting our own business means very much flying without a net, And we had a lot of things to figure out. I mean, early on, I thought, well, you know, I could do payroll with QuickBooks, and quickly realized that's a very bad idea. I mean, could I do it? Sure. Yeah. Okay. But not a great use of my time and wasn't a very efficient thing to do. So we outsourced that to a company that is called a PEO. 

Ryckman [00:31:13]: They handle payroll and make sure we're in compliance with federal and state and local laws and all that sort of stuff. Again, just there was a lot I didn't know. There's more that I didn't know than I did know about running a business. Again, was very fortunate. I had people like JB Halston at the University of Denver who stepped forward and was a founder of the Colorado Media Project, who has been a great friend and mentor to me and to The Colorado Sun, since our founding. We've had other colleagues and others from around the country who have stepped up. And at the end of the day, the decisions were ours, but, you know, we've made some good decisions, maybe some less good decisions, but that's true of any small business. You know, whether you start up a restaurant or a news outlet, you know, there's a lot to learn. 

Ryckman [00:32:07]: You're gonna make mistakes. You're going to learn from them, hopefully, and do better tomorrow. And, you know, I think one of our strengths, frankly, has been that we are small and entrepreneurial and very nimble. You referenced the podcast. I mean, that was when we launched five years ago, we didn't have a podcast. And I think I was up at the University of Colorado speaking to a group of students, and I said, talking to a whole class of students, and, like, who here subscribes to a newspaper? Nobody raised their hands. You know, how about a magazine? Maybe one person raised their hands. Where do you guys get your news? You know, they they all sort of shrugged their shoulders and said, oh, my from a news feed, but podcast. 

Ryckman [00:32:51]: Oh, yeah. We all like podcasts. Like, you know what? If if these guys wanna get their news via podcast, they're tomorrow's members and subscribers, and we need to get in front of them. And, to me, as much as I love print, I'm platform agnostic. You know? Working for AP for 20 plus years, AP doesn't publish a newspaper. AP is in the business of doing good journalism and delivering it to its members and subscribers around the world, whether that's broadcast, radio, print, Internet, etcetera. And that's kind of the model that I've that I've embraced, which is like, look, I love print, but this isn't about a platform. This is just about serving the role that we have to play in this democracy of being a watchdog on government and telling these important stories in whatever form people want it. 

Ryckman [00:33:50]: And there were a lot of people who just were not going to read our content on our website because that's just not the way they wanted to consume news. So we were able to quickly pivot and say, okay. Let's do a podcast. So we stood one up fairly quickly. And, you know, if I worked at a large bureaucratic organization, that could have been workshopped and meetings and subcommittees and, you know, to death for years before we launched something. We we stood something up pretty quickly. So we've had to learn on the fly. I've had to learn on the fly. 

Ryckman [00:34:22]: And I think, you know, overall, I'm proud of the work that we've done. We've grown the business through some tough times. I mean, look. You know and I know 2023 was a really difficult year across the industry. We saw waves of layoffs and reductions, newspapers continuing to close. Sadly, we just wrote about another newspaper in Colorado that, closed its doors. It's a tough time in our business. I mean, it's always been a tough business. 

Ryckman [00:34:51]: Let's face it. But 2023 was a particularly difficult year. I mean, good friends of mine, tell me that they're just burned out of the news, whether it's COVID or politics or wars, you know, all of the things that people are just a lot of people are just exhausted, and they tell me that they're have had to turn away from the news or turn off the news. And that's hard to hear, particularly for somebody who, you know, is in the business. From a selfish perspective, it's hard to hear. But also for somebody who cares about democracy. Like, we need people to be informed, and that's on me. That's on everybody in this business to find ways to re-engage with people who are maybe just exhausted from the news. 

Ryckman [00:35:39]: So, anyway, it we've had to learn a lot, and I continue to learn. Frankly, as you mentioned, we became a nonprofit here just a couple of months ago, and I've never run a nonprofit before. I've served on nonprofit boards before, so it's not completely new to me. But, there's a lot to learn, and it's a different, it's a different animal than the public benefit corporation that we've been over the past five years. So I'm learning a lot, in that world too. 

From LLC to B Corp to nonprofit 

Regan-Porter [00:36:11]: Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about that conversion. So why you start off as a B Corp? Because I think you probably—I understand you talked about being a nonprofit at the beginning. And why the conversion? 

Ryckman [00:36:21]: Yeah. So from the very beginning, look, from my perspective and our perspective, the sky was falling down around our heads. And we felt like we wanted to get something, we needed to get something started up quickly. And the fastest way to stand up a company is to create an LLC. So that's what we did on day one. But then we quickly realized that that didn't really reflect who we are and our values. And I love nonprofits. I mean, there's a lot to like about nonprofits. 

Ryckman [00:36:54]: But we also, again, thanks to friends who said, you know, at universities, at the University of Colorado, University of Denver, and elsewhere. They're like, you know, there's this other thing that you guys might wanna be, you might wanna consider, which is to become a public benefit corporation. Now public benefit corporation is a for profit entity that has a public service mission woven into the very DNA of the company. So there were a few reasons to do that. Number one, it allowed us to still remain very small and very nimble to not have to turn over the governance of the company to an outside board as most nonprofits do. So we you know, again, one of our main concerns about when we were at the Denver Post was that Alden Global Capital could not have cared less what I thought. They could not have cared less what any of my colleagues there thought. They were gonna do what they were going to do. So you had journalists and others who had no voice and certainly no vote. And so that was important for us, to at least be masters of our own destiny when it came to right or wrong. 

Ryckman [00:38:13]: We're gonna make decisions and live or die by them. So we felt like this public benefit corporation model was a good one for us, and I think it has been a good one for us. I think we've demonstrated over the past five years that we could grow. We went from 10 to, as I said, 28, and that's fine. But I will say that it took a lot of explaining for people to like, Public Benefit Corporation. What is that again? Is that nonprofit? Is it, like, no. No. We're for profit, but we operate with the heart and the values of a nonprofit. 

Ryckman [00:38:48]: And, you know, as, again, friends smarter than me would say, look, if you have to explain yourself and it takes you that long, you've already lost a certain number of people. And frankly, for a news outlet from my perspective, there are two reasons to be a for profit entity. One is profit. So let's be real. It's the news business. We did not start The Colorado Sun to become millionaires or something like that, to earn profits. I mean, you've gotta make money whether you're a nonprofit or a for profit, but this was not about lining my pockets or anybody else's pockets. Again, as we've demonstrated, as we've grown our revenues and added more members, you know, that didn't mean a bigger paycheck for me. 

Ryckman [00:39:33]: It meant we were able to do more journalism and hire more journalists, and we went from 10 to 28, etcetera. The other reason to be a for-profit from my perspective as a news outlet is to do endorsements. You can have a voice of god, and we endorse Senator So and So, or we think you should vote this way on this measure. We decided from the very beginning that we would be nonpartisan and that we weren't going to do endorsements. So from my perspective, we had the downside of being for profit, which is to say there were foundations and individuals that just would not support us because we were a for-profit entity. They had decided they would only support nonprofit entities, and I understand that. So we had that downside without the upside, the two upside, reasons for being a for-profit. And I thought, you know what? It represents who we are. 

Ryckman [00:40:28]: It represents our values, and I think that it's an exciting new chapter for The Colorado Sun to be nonprofit. It's easy for people to understand who we are, and what we're all about. It doesn't take a lot of explanation. We're just, we are a nonprofit. And, frankly, since we announced that we became a nonprofit a couple of months ago, you know, it has opened up this new revenue stream for us that just was not available to us. People who were like, look. I just wanna give you money. Can I just give you $50? Can I give you $5,000, etcetera? And the answer is, today, yes. 

Ryckman [00:41:06]: And, by the way, you'll get a tax deduction for your contribution. So thank you. So we've had hundreds of Coloradans just in the past couple of months who have stepped up and decided that they wanted to help us through donations to our nonprofit. 

Regan-Porter [00:41:22]: And so fresh off that process, do you have any tips or warnings for newsrooms considering doing the conversion? 

Ryckman [00:41:28]: Well, I will say this that, you know, we were warned for the very beginning, like, oh, it's complicated. It could take, you know, up to 12 months. The IRS approved our application within thre weeks. It made my head spin. I mean, it was wonderful that they approved it so quickly and a testament again to some of the fine legal help that I had, you know, some of the guidance that we had from others. But we frankly weren't fully prepared for the IRS to give us that approval so quickly. I will say that, you know, look, nonprofit doesn't mean you don't make a profit. You know, it doesn't mean that you don't go make money. 

Ryckman [00:42:09]: You know, I would say that it's still important to focus on the fundamentals. Again, just from our perspective, treat people with respect, do quality work. You know, to me, these are things that serve us, they served us well as a for profit public benefit corporation. They're serving us well as a nonprofit. Understand who you are and who you aren't. Again, in talking to colleagues around the country, a lot of people have reached out to me over the past 5 years about, well, how did you do it? You know? And what you know, can you help us, you know, here, whatever it is. And it's like, look. You need to know who you are and who you aren't. 

Ryckman [00:42:50]: We've never pretended to be a mini Denver Post, for instance. You know, we do not try to be all things to all people. We don't cover the Denver Broncos. We don't cover the Nuggets as much as I enjoy watching them from time to time. You have choices as a reader, as a listener, as a viewer to to get that content from some other place. We try to give you stories, that you're not gonna find someplace else. We wanna help you understand what's happening at the state house. We want to you know, we did a story, Jennifer Brown on my staff did a story about Colorado's kind of quirky when it comes to raw milk, raw unpasteurized milk. 

Ryckman [00:43:27]: Like, it's really hard to get your hands on raw milk. And there are people who would say, well, what? Are you crazy? Don't do that. You know, it's not, it's unhealthy. There are other people who are like, no. It's absolutely, it's great for your health. And anyway, we did this story about how Colorado is a bit of an outlier when it comes to allowing access to raw milk. You can buy a share in a cow or a herd of cows, of dairy cows, and get access to raw milk that way. But anyway, we did this story. 

Ryckman [00:43:58]: There's been legislation now being introduced at the state house directly in response to our story. I don't think anybody else was writing about that. So we try to just, you know, just know who we are, stay in our lane, do good work, don't try to do too much, Just bring quality to everything that we do. So with a sense of humor from the very beginning, you know, you have to have swag. Right? You have to have t shirts and tote bags and things like that. And it turns out there are a lot of decisions to be made around things like that. You know, we, one of the many hats that I was wearing, you know, early on in addition to, you know, being the head of the business and the editor and all of that was, you know, I went and looked at different t-shirt manufacturers. And we found a local TV, or a local t-shirt manufacturer who provided a lot of options. 

Ryckman [00:44:53]: You could get this cheap t-shirt here that begins to fade and fray after you wash it two times, or you could pay more money and get this quality shirt that's going to feel good forever and be a great shirt. And I said, you know what? We're all about doing quality journalism, quality work, and treating our people with respect. If we're gonna put our name on it, it better be a quality piece of merchandise. So our tote bags are really good tote bags. Our t-shirts, I still have my t-shirt I proudly wear, that I've had for the past five years. My Colorado Sun hat is quality. In fact, Evan Smith at the Texas Tribune wears a Colorado Sun hat every day when he plays tennis. So they, we do quality work, whether it's in the t-shirt and hat business or journalism. 

Rapid-fire questions 

Regan-Porter [00:45:41]: So now I wanna end with a series of rapid fire questions. And the questions are quick, but your answers don't have to be. So the first one, compared to a year ago, are you more up or less optimistic about not just The Sun, but local news? 

Ryckman [00:45:55]: I am optimistic about The Colorado Sun. In fact, I'm more optimistic than ever about The Sun. I think that our conversion to nonprofit has opened up some new exciting possibilities for us. I think that it's a very clear message to readers about who we are and what our values are. I'm very optimistic about that. I'm less optimistic about news in general. I mean, I'm not such a pollyanna that, you know, that I fail to see what's happening around the country. You know, Alden is gonna continue what it does. 

Ryckman [00:46:30]: Just in Baltimore this this last week, you know, they spun off the Baltimore Sun and related newspapers to an owner that might actually end up being worse than Alden Global Capital. Time will tell, but, hedge funds that control most of the newspapers in the United States are gonna continue doing bad things. And I will say there's a a glimmer of hope in there in that, I am hearing from and seeing small digital startups pop up to help fill the void and help carry the banner forward. So long term, I'm optimistic. Short term, I'm very optimistic about The Sun. Short term, I I think we're still in for some pain and some some heartache in the news business in the coming five years. Does AI fill you with more hope or dread when it comes to journalism?Boy, a little bit of both. We, as an industry, are going to have to struggle with it. 

Ryckman [00:47:27]: I, this is just my personal two cenets worth here. AI is not going to go away, that we can't just turn our backs, on it. It might very well be a powerful tool for us to use, but just a tool. You know? I think that it's important for us. I mean, for instance, well, we're never going to allow at The Colorado Sun AI to write stories, for instance. That's not gonna happen. You know? We we're all about providing quality writing, quality journalism. I don't think AI takes the place of of human reporters. 

Ryckman [00:48:02]: Could AI be used as a tool to help inform some of our reporting? Could be. There are a lot of concerns that we all have about AI, about the hallucinations that we've seen from AI. It needs to be fact-checked. But I will say, I asked, ChatGPT to write a profile of The Colorado Sun and to write a profile of me. It did a pretty reasonable job in less than 10 seconds, but it inserted some very significant errors. And I said, no, no, no. That that's wrong. I didn't win that award, or The Colorado Sun didn't do that, or and do it again, correct it again. 

Ryckman [00:48:41]: And, frankly, at the very end of this process, AI did and it—this never was published. This was just for my own amusement and information. AI produced reasonable brief stories about both myself and The Colorado Sun that had to be fact-checked, that had to be corrected. But it's kind of the process that I've experienced over the past 40 years with editors and, say, interns, have always experienced. And there needs to be that accountability, that fact checking, that skepticism. I think that there probably is a place for AI and will be a place AI in journalism in years ahead, but we better be very careful that we don't sacrifice our values and our integrity. 

Regan-Porter [00:49:28]: I could run down the hall and fact check this, but, messy desk or clean desk? Messy desk. You talked a little bit about some of the advice you got from Evan Smith. Do you have some favorite advice that you've been given, whether it's related to The Sun or just personal life advice? 

Ryckman [00:49:45]: Well, again, I go back to Evan's advice again as the guy who, you know, oversees the business. And, obviously, I've got a lot of help from a a great team here at The Colorado Sun. But at the end of the day, our integrity, our name, our values, those things are not for sale. You know? No matter, you know, what billionaire, you know, knocks on the door or whatever it is. You know, those are things that we can never get back if we lose them. And I've been doing this this too long to, you know, sacrifice those things to any person or any entity. So I think Evan's shorthand advice was money's easy to find. The right money is very hard to find. And, I think that's that's great advice for anybody trying to set out to do this, to do this work. 

Regan-Porter [00:50:37]: Is there a piece of advice that is—or conventional wisdom that you hear, that drives you crazy in it's wrongness or oversimplification? 

Ryckman [00:50:45]: Well, I mean, in general, you know, the doom saying, even though I said, you know, I think we're in for some heartache ahead, you know, we have always been a gloomy bunch, you know, in this business. I remember when I was a journalism student 40 plus years ago, a journalist came to one of my classes and looked out at all of the fresh-faced college students who wanted to become journalists and follow in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein, and said, don't do it. Newspapers are dying. You know, you'll never make a living in this business. And he wasn't entirely wrong. 40 plus years ago, the newspaper that he represented is a shadow of its former self. It's owned by Gannett, and once upon a time, it occupied a giant newsroom. Today, they would fit around this small table that I'm sitting at right now. 

Ryckman [00:51:37]: And yet, we're still able to do important work to serve the role that the founding fathers envisioned for us in the First Amendment, the watchdog rule. Our democracy needs a strong free press, a strong, vibrant free press. And, look, people will always need it. As as tough as this business is, there's always gonna be room for people who are passionate about the business, who want to right wrongs, who want to learn about things, who bring curiosity. And, you know, I would never discourage somebody from going into journalism if they're passionate about it, if they're going into it for the right reasons. If you're looking to make a billion dollars or something, go do something—go learn coding. Although that's probably bad too, because AI is gonna take that over. 

Ryckman [00:52:26]: It's already taken that over. But, yeah. I mean, the conventional wisdom is, you know, newspapers are dying, and the news industry is dying. I don't, I don't buy that. What is happening is the old business models in journalism are dying. We're watching that in front of our eyes. And it is sad to see papers like the Baltimore Sun in decline. But I think we have smart people. 

Ryckman [00:52:55]: We have people who are passionate, people who are smart, who care about democracy, who care about their communities, and wanna tell important stories. You know, as long as we have people who are willing to step up and try new things and to search for new business models. Again, there's not a one-size-fits-all model. Let's explore. Let's find some new things, and we can make this work. And I'm very much an optimist long term about this business. It's always gonna be a tough business, always has been a tough business, but it's gonna be around. Journalism will survive, and democracy will survive. We'll survive together. 

Regan-Porter [00:53:33]: Good to hear in 2024 that democracy will survive, because sometimes I wonder. 

Ryckman [00:53:39]: Here's hoping. I mean, you know, I'm not—you know, like the the old Ben Franklin, you know, warning was, you know, you've got a republic if you can keep it. So, we've got a democracy that faces constant challenges, you know, and seriously, you know, more challenges today than ever. But I do have faith that we will all collectively work hard to keep it. And that's part of our role as journalists is to keep people informed about the good things and the bad things alike. And you won't like what you see every day, but, you know, on balance, I hope readers of The Colorado Sun will feel like we worked hard to keep them informed. 

Regan-Porter [00:54:24]: The next question I usually ask about people's favorite failures, just, you know, we don't talk about failures enough and how it puts us on a different path. But given that you're at your five year mark, looking back at The Sun, are there favorite mistakes or failures or really big lessons that you learned, from things that happened, you know, that went south maybe? 

Ryckman [00:54:45]: Yeah. So, I mean, well, frankly, I mentioned one already. The first one was thinking that I could just, you know, I could just do payroll myself. I mean, no. Really, that's a bad idea. That was that it took me two months of doing that before I realized, no, no. Yeah. I need to turn this over to the professionals and do that. 

Ryckman [00:55:05]: I mean, it is, I have had to learn that, yeah, there are there are certain things that I can do. You know, I could I can learn how to do that, but, you know, is it the best use of my time? You know? Because time is a limited resource, and just because I can do something doesn't necessarily mean that I should. So sometimes letting things go, delegating is a challenge for everyone. You know, understanding when it's important for me to be involved in something and when it's not important for me, that there's a better use of my time doing something else. That has, that has been, important for me. You know, again, learning how to ask for help. I mean, it seems like a simple thing, but it really has been a process. Learning, you know, how the the world of philanthropy works, that's an ongoing process. 

Ryckman [00:56:00]: I'm taking the first steps into that world. So I would say, you know, there's a fundamental thing, is being open to learning and being open to about make mistakes. Again, sometimes we make mistakes in our journalism. You know, you be transparent about it, own it, hopefully learn from it, do better the next time. And I feel the same way about business as well. You know, we're all we're all human other than the AI. And we will we will make mistakes from time to time. And let's just learn from them and move forward. 

Ryckman [00:56:34]: But, yeah, I try to be, I've learned to be a better guardian of my own time. 

Regan-Porter [00:56:40]: So two more questions. You know, I'm very worried, particularly in this year, about mental health for our field. And I was actually just talking with John Garrett. He had just posted on LinkedIn a survey that showed more CEOs have thought about leaving than employees, and we don't often talk about sort of the challenges when you're leading an organization. So how do you think about mental health for your team and yourself? And what do you do to restore yourself you know, maintain some sort of equilibrium? 

Ryckman [00:57:10]: Yeah. It's it's a great question. And I will say, again, when I was a foreign correspondent for AP in Moscow, I helped cover the fall of the Soviet Union. I covered the war in Chechnya. And, I got thrown into that kind of work with, in retrospect, shockingly little training. There was nobody afterwards saying, you know, do you wanna talk about your feelings after you've, you know, experienced having a gun pointed at your head and seeing dead bodies and explosions and having the Russians shooting at you? And no. I mean, I'm sure that I did have PTSD after all of that. I mean, there were times when I, two years later, when I would just wake up with it in night sweats, you know, dreaming that I was walking the streets of Grozny during the, you know, covering the Chechen war. 

Ryckman [00:57:59]: So, historically, we paid very little attention to mental health of our employees. After the King Soopers shooting, you know, we, The Colorado Sun flooded the zone, and, you know, we we worked hard and produced excellent coverage of that event. We paused pretty quickly thereafter, and we brought in a mental health expert to just, for anybody who wanted to come in and and talk about what they saw, what they experienced, what they're feeling, how they're processing it. That was the first time in my career. And, again, I oversaw AP's coverage of Columbine back in the day. I've covered and overseen coverage of more school shootings and wildfires and hurricanes and floods and wars than than I can even remember. That was the first time that I had ever participated in such a thing. So that's a good thing that that we're taking time to take care of each other more today than when I was growing up in this business. 

Ryckman [00:59:01]: For me, personally, yes. It's been stressful. As I said, you know, I've had to step out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone was running a newsroom. Yeah. I've had to learn how to balance the books and read spreadsheets and deal with accountants and lawyers and all of the rest of that stuff. That can be uncomfortable and can be stressful. I will say, there again, I've been fortunate in my friends. 

Ryckman [00:59:26]: I'm part of a small cohort of other digital news organizations, some as small as Lookout Santa Cruz, Block Club Chicago, the Baltimore Banner is part of this group. And we sort of jokingly calls it the 3 AM club, which is when you wake up at 3 AM as the CEO, what are the things you're worried about? And let's talk about it together. And, oh, you you're dealing with that problem. I dealt with that problem six months ago. Here's how I thought about it. And so we've provided some mentorship to each other and just a a friendly ear sometimes, and that's been really helpful for me. But yeah. I mean, look. 

Ryckman [01:00:05]: Anytime you step out of your comfort zone in life, you know, or in business or in life, it can be uncomfortable. And I will say there have been a number of uncomfortable moments, more good moments than bad, but, you know, it was scary to venture out and do our own thing. 

Regan-Porter [01:00:22]: Last question. So five years out, what would wild success for The Sun look like? 

Ryckman [01:00:28]: Well, wild success. You know, I would, wild success would have us probably doubling the size of our newsroom. You know, really, at the end of the day though, it's not about—I mean, of course, I'm on team democracy. I'm on team journalism. I think more journalism is a good thing for the public, for Colorado. I'm very much in favor of that. At the end of the day, what I really want is a sustainable Colorado Sun, where we're able to do important work, we're able to do good work, where we're able to treat each other, and I mean fellow journalists and whatnot, and and our readers with respect. I believe that, that's important. 

Ryckman [01:01:09]: When we created The Colorado Sun, nobody took a pay cut when they left the Denver Post. We provide health insurance to any of our employees, who want it or need it. You know, we have a 401 k that we make available to employees. We we're trying to operate in a way that, you know, we're taking care of each other. And to me, I just hope that in another five years or 10 years or 50 years, that The Colorado Sun continues to be a place that is a, it's a force for good. We're doing this important work, and we're and we're taking care of each other and, hopefully, have have continued to earn the respect of Coloradans and their support, and we're a sustainable news organization. Again, the journalist from 40 years ago was not wrong. It's a tough business. 

Ryckman [01:01:55]: It's always been a tough business. It probably always will be a tough business, but I'm an optimist. I think that we're gonna figure this out. And we've got a lot of smart people out there who are pioneering new business models, and we're proud to be part of that effort. 

Regan-Porter [01:02:10]: Right. Well, thank you so much for your time, Larry. And I hope the next five years do see wild success. 

Ryckman [01:02:15]: Thank you so much. Appreciate it, Tim. 

Regan-Porter [01:02:21]: Thank you for listening to the Local News Matters podcast. 

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Past guests on the Local News Matters podcast include: Frank Mungeam (Local Media Association), Kelly Ann Scott (Alabama Media Group), Sara Lomax and S. Mitra Kalita (URL Media), Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro (National Trust for Local News), Mike Rispoli and Richard Young (via When the People Decide), Sarabeth Berman (American Journalism Project), Rabbi Hillel Goldberg and Shana Goldberg (Intermountain Jewish News),  Lyndsay C. Green (via The Journalism Salute), Rashad Mahmood and Mark Glaser (New Mexico Local News Fund), Christian Vanek and Barbara Hardt (The Mountain-Ear), Dan Grech (BizHack), Zack Richner (Easy Tax Credits), Tracie Powell (Pivot Fund), Dan Oshinsky (Inbox Collective), Linda Shapley (via What Works), Yehong Zhu and Jake Seaton (Zette, Column), Charity Huff (January Spring), Joaquin Alvarado and Dave Perry (Aurora Sentinel), Steve Waldman (Rebuild Local News), Maritza Félix (Conecta Arizona), Michael Bolden (American Press Institute), Jeff Roberts and Corey Hutchins (CFOIC, Colorado College), Eve Pearlman and Erica Anderson (Spaceship Media), Jennifer Brandel (Hearken, Democracy SOS), Corey Hutchins with Bay Edwards, Todd Chamberlain and Raleigh Burleigh (Sopris Sun).