A Q&A WITH LEE F. SACHNOFF


 

The Trust’s first major investment came in spring 2021 with the purchase of Colorado Community Media, and the launch of the Colorado News Conservancy. As one might imagine, we wouldn’t be anywhere without incredible legal expertise to bring the National Trust for Local News and the conservancy to life. And for that, we have Lee F. Sachnoff and his firm, Kutak Rock LLP, to thank.


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FIRST, LEE, TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU AND KUTAK ROCK LLP.

Kutak Rock LLP is one the nation’s leading law firms with 19 offices in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in finance, the firm has evolved to offer service offerings spanning business and corporate law, public finance, litigation and real estate law. I am a partner in our Denver office with a practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and commercial law, and now community newspapers.



HOW DOES YOUR WORK WITH THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR LOCAL NEWS FIT INTO THE FIRM’S COMMITMENT TO SERVING THE COMMUNITY?


While a national firm, each of Kutak Rock LLP’s offices have substantial local practices that serve their communities. This is evident in the public finance projects with which our firm has handled over the last five decades. In the past 20 years alone, we have handled over 17,000 bond deals with an aggregate principal exceeding $798 billion in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. The mission of the Trust aligns with this body of work as the services and information provided by local and community news organizations are as important to citizens on a daily basis as public transit systems, schools, and housing.


WE AGREE! ANY PARTICULAR FAVORITE PARTS OF THE LEGAL WORK THAT YOU DID ON OUR BEHALF IN COLORADO?



Helping to organize Colorado News Conservancy as a Public Benefit Corporation and assisting on its acquisition of Colorado Community Media’s 24 newspapers was memorable and one of my favorite transactions. Not only was this NTLN’s first acquisition to save a group of essential community newspapers, but it was also the first time NTLN’s entire leadership group met in person. The transaction came together quickly, there were many moving pieces, there were hard deadlines, and we got it done. I’m proud of this transaction, and it was an honor to work with NTLN on their first acquisition.


WHY IS LOCAL NEWS IMPORTANT TO YOU, PERSONALLY?


My wife Linda and I moved to central Denver almost 30 years ago, and we haven’t left. On the first Wednesday of every month, Life on Capitol Hill, one of the Colorado Community Media publications NTLN saved, got delivered to our doorstep. It was our primary resource for discovering new businesses in our neighborhood and local issues that directly affected us. We are pleased to report, and relieved, that our home never got tagged in the paper as “Eyesore of the Month.”




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Lee’s work set the Trust on its path to innovation, and for that we are forever grateful.

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