In 2015 Gannett acquired the Alamogordo Daily News; Carlsbad Current-Argus; The Daily Times in Farmington; Deming Headlight; Las Cruces Sun-News; Silver City Sun-News and the Ruidoso News in New Mexico and the El Paso Times in Texas.
In March of 2017 Lee Enterprises was trading at $2.58. Friday morning it closed at nearly $20 with a market cap of $119 million and Gannett stock closed at $2.26 with a market cap of $331 million.
This blog has argued that the Gannett Company should have bought Lee Enterprises which owns the Rapid City Journal and 45 other daily newspapers. It was my rant then that Lee Newspapers of Montana would survive as part of a Bismarck Tribune, Rapid City Journal, Casper Star-Trib marriage and not become part of a Gannett takeover.
The New Mexican was a Gannett newspaper for almost 14 years, from 1976 until December 1989. One of the more important days in Santa Fe’s history was when the late Robert McKinney and his daughter, Robin Martin, regained ownership of The New Mexican from Gannett. Not all are happy. One with myriad complaints wrote to me last month. “The SFNM is a paper I loathe as a longtime subscriber and one of the lone Republicans in a city where we are mostly spat upon and reviled. See anti-Ronchetti articles, letters to your editors,” the man stated in an email. With nothing to gain or lose at this stage of my working life, I can say The New Mexican’s Martin advanced Santa Fe in ways no governor or mayor could. But absent from The New Mexican is the cookie-cutter look and abbreviated coverage of budget-slashing Gannett newspapers. [Santa Fe's great escape: Shedding Gannett]Reservation border towns like Pierre and Santa Fe have always been influenced by the Klan, John Birch Society, the TEA movement and now by the extreme white wing of the Republican Party.
In my home state Pierre was made the capital of South Dakota to be a media desert by design. There is an exodus of journalists leaving the profession for public relations as the media lurch to drive the message to the extreme right. Bill Janklow’s idea of public broadcasting can’t cover Pierre effectively because its funding is reliant on the South Dakota Republican Party, the Associated Press can’t do it because they’ve been neutered so has Gannett’s Sioux Falls Argus Leader. South Dakota’s teevee stations are bound to Republican advertisers and nobody reads college publications.
In 2015 the Center for Public Integrity even gave the state an 'F' for its culture of corruption and it just keeps getting worse. I quit following the South Dakota Newspaper Association on twitter because its feed reads like a bulletin from the South Dakota Republican Party. The Pierre Capital Journal is a joke so are the radio stations based in the capital city.
So it came as no surprise when South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem's communications director, Ian Fury admitted on twitter that there is a reporter blacklist. Similar malice blindsided a reporter in New Mexico denied entrance to a Republican gubernatorial campaign event for Mark Ronchetti.
Softball interviews where nobody gets Mrs. Noem’s or Mr. Ronchetti's goats are par for the Republican course but real debates with real opponents are far better displays of any candidate’s depth.