The following appears in this week's Chronicle, which we just shipped off to the press. No small feat this week, after a hairy Tuesday evening at Coop's and Elliot's, where many drinks were had as we bid adieu to staff reporter Michael Beckel. Good times, but I don't think any Chroniclers will be shooting Poudre Canyon Dropoffs again anytime soon.
And now, what I hope will be my final words on pie:
The pie fight for the trademark Fort Collins Now is nearing an end, and much sooner than Chronicle staffers anticipated. On Thursday, July 26, Fort Collins Weekly publisher Joel Dyer delivered six pies to the Chronicle offices, all made with Colorado peaches by the food-conscious bakers at Café Ardour in Old Town, Fort Collins.
For those who may have missed pieces of the storyline, the Chronicle reserved the name Fort Collins Now with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office the morning after the Greeley Tribune announced that the name of the Fort Collins Weekly would be changed to Fort Collins Now. The Chronicle issued a press release that offered two payment plans in exchange for the moniker. After hours-long negotiations between Dyer and Chronicle publishers Sadie Moore and Josh Johnson, the Chroniclers agreed to discontinue any use of the Now brand in exchange for six pies made by a local, independent baker with as many local ingredients as possible, in addition to a $250 donation to the Food Bank of Larimer County, which the Chronicle intends to match. Dyer has yet to follow through with the Food Bank donation, but we don’t have reason to believe he won’t, especially judging from his good spirits last Thursday.
I monopolized most of Dyer’s time while he was in our offices, and he shared plenty of details about the soon-to-debut Fort Collins Now newspaper. Some nuggets: The Weekly staff has left its lofty Old Town Square digs for the ominous building on the southeast corner of Magnolia and Peterson streets, the home of NextNC, a weekly product of the Greeley Tribune that’s known in the alt-weekly industry as a “faux-alt,” short for “faux-alternative.” Rarely are such rip-offs successful, and that seems to be the case here, too, although Dyer has “absorbed” their staff in order to help produce the twice-weekly (Fridays and Saturdays) Fort Collins Now.
Story sharing is part of the deal among Now, the Trib and the Trib’s various other publications throughout Northern Colorado, including, according to Dyer, an upcoming paid daily that will be called the Northern Colorado Tribune, which will reach from the southwest pocket of Weld County known as the Tri-Town area (Fredrick, Dacono and Firestone) through northern Larimer and Weld communities. Still, Dyer doesn’t consider the new daily as competition, despite the fact that he expects Now to eventually become a daily as well. In the meantime, Dyer and staff are deep in the throes of doubling their weekly production and adding new bylines that Trib readers will surely recognize. For our part here at the Chronicle, as our Associate Publisher Josh Johnson told Michael Roberts, media critic at Westword, Denver’s alt-weekly, "We can sit on the sidelines as hecklers — eating pie."