Pointblank and New West Form New Publishing Venture

Jon Gaskell 515-953-4822, ext. 302
Shane Goodman 402-297-6397

Des Moines, Iowa—Feb. 19, 2004—Pointblank Media and New West Newspapers, Inc., announced today that they are negotiating to form a new venture to own and operate Pointblank and Relish and expand into other publications and localities. Pointblank is Central Iowa’s leading alternative newspaper and Relish is an independent food and fine-dining publication for the Des Moines area. Jon Gaskell has been editor of both and will continue to be so as well as being a major stockholder in the new entity, Greater Des Moines Publishing Co.

New West Newspapers owns the daily Nebraska City, Neb., News Press and weekly newspapers and shoppers in Nebraska, West Virginia and Colorado, as well as commercial printing operations in Nebraska and West Virginia. New West is owned principally by former Iowa newspaper executives Gary Gerlach and Michael Gartner.

Shane Goodman, an executive with New West, will become president and publisher of Pointblank and its related publications, and Bill Welsh, executive vice president and chief operating officer of New West, will be chairman of Greater Des Moines Publishing Co. Goodman, Gaskell, Gerlach and Gartner all worked together several years ago at the Ames Tribune and its affiliated newspapers, where Gerlach and Gartner were the principal owners.

“We could not be more excited about this opportunity,” Gaskell said. “Being involved with individuals of this caliber, who believe strongly in what we’re doing, is not only flattering, but reassuring in the context that what we’ve accomplished over the past 20 months is not only unique, but necessary. We’ve only ever been interested in putting out the best publications possible. This new entity gives us the tools and additional leadership to do it on a grander scale while remaining truly alternative.”

“I am excited to work with Jon again and to help the operation grow,” said Goodman. “He is a talented individual who has achieved commendable success in a short time. We hope to help him achieve even more.”

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