Las Vegas Review-Journal Now Owned By... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

from the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ dept

The last time we wrote about the Las Vegas Review-Journal -- the largest newspaper in Nevada -- it was owned by Stephens Media and was making headlines for using the LVRJ as a copyright troll, pretending to sell its copyrights to a company called Righthaven. That scam fell apart when it was discovered that Righthaven didn't really own the copyrights it was suing over. Since then, the LVRJ has changed hands a couple times. Stephens Media sold the paper to New Media Investment Group earlier this year. And then, last week, it was announced that "New Media Investment Group" had sold the newspaper to News + Media Capital Group LLC, for $140 million. News + Media Capital Group LLC is a brand new Delaware-based company, and no one has the slightest clue who they are, including all the folks working for the LVRJ.
Who was willing to buy remains a secret.

News + Media manager Michael Schroeder has declined to disclose the company's investors, as has Las Vegas Review-Journal Publisher Jason Taylor.

In discussions with employees, Taylor has said only that News + Media has multiple owner/investors, that some are from Las Vegas, and that in face-to-face meetings he has been assured that the group will not meddle in the newspaper's editorial content.
As you might imagine, that has some of the folks working there more than a bit uncomfortable:
Several staffers at the Review-Journal, the largest media outlet in Nevada, have questioned their new owner's decision to remain secret, an unusual arrangement that's stunned not only the newsroom, but journalists nationwide.

Sean Whaley, a capital bureau reporter based in Carson City, tweeted Saturday night that he was "offended & embarrassed" that the paper's new owner -- News + Media Capital Group LLC -- has not disclosed its financial backers since announcing Thursday night that it had acquired the paper.
And, contrary to the claims that these new mysterious owners won't meddle in the editorial... there is some evidence they already have:

The publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal removed quotes from a Thursday night article about the newspaper's sale that questioned its new owner's decision to remain anonymous, according to a newsroom source.

Around midnight Thursday, publisher Jason Taylor had editors remove a quote from Michael Schroeder, manager for News + Media Capital Group LLC, the undisclosed financial backers taking over the paper. In the original version, Schroeder, who also runs four community papers as president and CEO of Central Connecticut Publishing, was quoted telling Review-Journal staffers at a Thursday meeting that they shouldn't worry about the identities of the owners.

The original article also included quotes from editor Michael Hengel expressing concerns about the secretive ownership arrangement.

There's lots of speculation that the mysterious unnamed owners are looking to use the paper for political purposes, and the failure to name who they are only contributes to that fear.

The whole thing is just bizarre in general, and it wouldn't surprise me to see reporters and staffers at the LVRJ consider looking for jobs elsewhere. While sometimes it seems like the question of who owns a newspaper gets overblown in the question of how that newspaper covers certain stories, at least the ownership is generally known to the public (and the people working there). Not having any information at all... is just weird.

Filed Under: journalism, las vegas review journal, ownership
Companies: las vegas review journal, new media investment group, news + media capital group, stephens media


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  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 11:56am

    If Only...

    If only they knew some good journalists who could investigate and get to the bottom of this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:00pm

    No changes please...

    Las Vegas' newspaper is one outfit whose RSS feeds actually link to articles that DON'T HAVE PAYWALLS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Las Vegas Review-Journal Now Owned By... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    They're buying newspapers now? This emoji thing has gone too far.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Slow news day?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:48pm

    Much like the TV news groups have now all become part of the "entertainment" groups of a network, this is just another "news"-paper that is really just an ad distribution network (where news is mostly just hearsay). They'll be happy to stuff your mailbox with coupons, though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 2:59pm

    jobs in the newspaper business

    "it wouldn't surprise me to see reporters and staffers at the LVRJ consider looking for jobs elsewhere."

    Doing what, cleaning toilets? Hey, at least that pays better than working for the Huffington Post. Anyway, Las Vegas is a place that has gone through some very tough times lately. Even the prostitutes have been forced to find other ways to make ends meet ... such as robbing their customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 14 Dec 2015 @ 6:12pm

    Trash

    Las Vegas Review-Journal Now Trash.

    Anything they write is suspect now. Don't read it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:45pm

    Empty words and telling actions

    That they refuse to disclose who owns the paper, and have potentially already interfered with the content shows quite clear that the claim that the writers's will still be able to determine what's written is rubbish.

    The paper will be used for some things to be sure, but 'accurate, unbiased reporting' isn't likely to be one of them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 9:05pm

      Re: Empty words and telling actions

      On the face of it, if the owners remain completely anonymous, that gives the editors free rein to put out the content they deem appropriate without it being colored by "we must please our lords and masters". That would be a good thing.


      Too bad that they harshed the mellow by interfering in a story already, even if it is a self-referential one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    docd (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 9:21pm

    More than likely it's nobody else but the Koch brothers. Especially seeing as how the first article was partially cut and changed before publication, and it was not normal editing, but interference with the news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2015 @ 4:15am

    You're all thinking it - but I'll say it... Prenda!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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