Synergy’s the Word in DFW

Fort Worth Weekly’s new owner looks for growth

Fort Worth Weekly’s new sole owner, Lee Newquist, plans an era of growth within the Fort Worth market and détente with the Dallas Observer, 30 miles away.

“I plan to use the knowledge and resources I’ve gained through my career and pump it into this paper,” Newquist says.

This week, Newquist bought Fort Worth Weekly from New Times Newspapers, ending a 19-year career with New Times. He was the chain’s executive vice president of operations prior to his departure and publisher of both the Fort Worth Weekly and the Dallas Observer. Alison Draper has moved from advertising director to become publisher of the Dallas Observer, Newquist says.

Under New Times ownership, the two papers did not compete for distribution and cooperated on regional ad sales. Newquist sees no reason to change that relationship.

”We plan to continue that synergy,” he says, adding that “it doesn’t make smart business sense” for either paper to try to plant their news boxes in the other paper’s town.

Cooperation is possible in joint sales of advertising for events or businesses that would draw from both cities: for example, concerts held at Texas Stadium, a venue midway between the two cities.

“Whoever’s rep sells it, can sell it for both papers,” he says. “It’s a little unusual, but after all this is the DFW Metroplex.”

Newquist plans to stay with The Ruxton Group for national advertising sales.

Overall, Newquist says Fort Worth is a large market with plenty of room for growth.

“There needs to be an identifiable publication for young people to turn to,” he says. “I’m very optimistic.”

New Times purchased Fort Worth Weekly last year. The paper was founded in April 1996. Circulation has reached 60,000, and the paper is available at more than 1,800 locations in Tarrant County.

Newquist began his career with New Times in 1982 in the retail department of Phoenix New Times. He became publisher of Westword in 1985 and took the helm of the Dallas Observer in 1992. .

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