TypeAlternative weekly
Owner(s)Voice Media Group
PublisherScott Tobias
EditorPatricia Calhoun
Founded1977; 47 years ago (1977)
Headquarters1278 Lincoln St, Denver, Colorado, 80203, USA
Circulation67,520 (as of 2014)[1]

Westword is a free digital and print media publication based in Denver, Colorado. Westword publishes daily online coverage of local news, restaurants, music and arts, as well as longform narrative journalism. A weekly print issue circulates every Thursday. Westword has been owned by Voice Media Group since January 2013, when a group of senior executives bought out the previous owners.

Patricia Calhoun has been editor of Westword since she and two of her friends founded the publication in 1977. Calhoun and her former partners sold the newspapers to New Times Media in 1983.[2] In 2005, New Times Media acquired Village Voice Media, and took on the Village Voice Media name as part of a deal that created a group of 14 publications nationwide.[3] In January 2013, former Village Voice Media executives Scott Tobias, Christine Brennan and Jeff Mars bought VVM's papers and associated web properties and formed Voice Media Group.[4]

Westword has received several awards for investigative reporting and feature writing, including the 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for Chris Walker's story "Acid Trip".[5]

The publication's website, westword.com, offers daily news coverage along with comprehensive listings of music, arts and other events, along with restaurants and bar listings.

Best of Denver

Every year, Westword's staff awards hundreds of Denver-area personalities, restaurants, bars and shops with its "Best of Denver" awards.

The newspaper also throws a yearly concert, the "Westword Music Showcase", which brings dozens of local bands along with national headlining acts to venues in the Golden Triangle. Westword also produces an annual list of Masterminds, people whose contribution to arts and culture in the Denver area deserve special recognition.[6]

Other live events include Artopia, an annual celebration of the arts, Tacolandia, which features dozens of local taquerias and live music, and Feast, which focuses on the city’s entire food scene.


In November 2009 Westword became the first magazine or newspaper worldwide to employ a medical marijuana critic.[7] An anonymous contributor known by the pen name William Breathes contributed regular reviews of local marijuana dispensaries and began a column called "Ask a Stoner". Since that time, Westword has continued to be sympathetic to Colorado's growing recreational and medical marijuana movements, featuring ads for dispensaries in print editions and devoting an entire section of its website to covering the marijuana industry.[8] Westword's current marijuana editor is Thomas Mitchell.

Westword MasterMind Awards

The Westword MasterMind Awards were started in 2005 to recognize and encourage the "aesthetic adventurers who are changing the cultural landscape" of Denver.[9] The award comes with a no-strings attached cash grant.[9] Katie Taft was awarded the Westworld Mastermind Award in 2006.


  1. ^ Alliance for Audited Media
  2. ^ Vane, Sharyn (November 1998). "Consider the Alternative". American Journalism Review. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  3. ^ Richard Siklos (October 24, 2005). "The Village Voice, Pushing 50, Prepares to Be Sold to a Chain of Weeklies". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  4. ^ "Village Voice Media Execs Acquire The Company's Famed Alt Weeklies, Form New Holding Company". Tech Crunch. September 24, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "Acid Trip: Denver's Secret LSD Labs Fueled the Psychedelic Revolution" Westword.com
  6. ^ Celebrate Artopia and Westword's newest MasterMinds Westword.com
  7. ^ "William Breathes looks back on three years as the country's first pot critic - - News - Denver - Westword". www.westword.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2013.
  8. ^ "Denver Marijuana Guide | Cannabis News, Laws, Deals in Denver, CO".
  9. ^ a b Patricia, Calhoun (February 18, 2010). "MasterMind alumni brainstorm about the state of the arts in Denver". Westword.