Observer’s partnership with Journal begins in earnest with changes

The Albuquerque Journal announced on Saturday some substantial changes to its Rio Rancho and Westside sections, stemming from the Journal’s partnership with the Rio Rancho Observer. Beginning Saturday, a new consolidated section — called Rio West — will bring together news and feature coverage of Albuquerque’s West Side and the state’s third largest city, Rio Rancho.

The new section will be included inside all copies of the Journal distributed on the West Side of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho every Saturday. It replaces the Rio Rancho Journal and Westside sections.

Rio West content will not only come from the Journal’s venerable newsroom, but also the Rio Rancho Observer — as editorial staff from both launch a new cooperative effort to provide superior coverage. The collaboration is designed to benefit readers of both newspapers, while maintaining editorial autonomy and the unique voice of each newsroom.

It will also provide a new advertising opportunity for area businesses, creating an affordable way to reach this large and lucrative area of the metroplex. The combined circulation of Saturday’s Rio West and Sunday’s Observer is over 50,000.

Alongside the new Rio West print section, a new web page is also being launched on Saturday. Content, including breaking news, will come from both Rio West and the Observer. For daily and breaking local news, please visit the new site — This co-branded site will replace the Observer’s stand-alone web presence.

Rockford Hayes, publisher of the Observer, commented, “I’ve been looking forward to this day for some time, as our partnership with the Journal grows. In everything we do, we believe that an engaged citizenry creates a superior community. Our newspapers provide the news and information necessary for residents in our communities to know what’s going on, and become engaged in community life.

“Since this new collaborative effort strengthens our print and digital products, I believe everyone stands to benefit.”