COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Springs Gazette publisher and President Steve Pope is leaving to become chief operating officer of Minnesota-based Huckle Media.

Freedom Communications, the California-based corporate parent of The Gazette, said Tuesday that it will conduct a search to replace Pope.

The 61-year-old Pope has been the paper’s top executive since early 2009. Freedom Communications hired him from Swift Communications, where he was publisher of the Vail Daily newspaper and general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media.

Pope will leave The Gazette July 22 to join Huckle Media, a private company based in Faribault, Minn., that publishes several community papers.

Mike Burns will serve as The Gazette’s interim publisher while continuing as vice president of sales and market development for Freedom Communications.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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