Alamogordo Daily News Sold Town News Exclusive Interview


The Alamogordo Daily News has yet again been sold, but this time to a New Mexico investment group consisting of 10 New Mexico investors with a mission to save small town news via collaborations and local investment. 

2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News on air edition with Anthony Lucero has breaking news with the first local public interview with the lead editor and leader of the acquiring  company of the Alamogordo Daily News; El Rito Media LLC.

According to El Rito Media, ”Management of the additional newspapers will be the responsibility of Richard L. Connor. He will serve as editor and publisher of all five El Rito newspapers. Connor hopes to employ local community members to assist with reporting and local newspaper management.”

Mr. Connor spoke via email with Chris Edwards of 2nd Life Media and in his interview with Anthony Lucero he commented that;“we are looking forward to  hiring local reporters, editors and sales professionals in the market and providing some solid community journalism for the people that live there (Alamogordo).” He continued by saying that “collaboration with other media entities was a priority for the organization” 

Mr. Connor explained to to KALH Radio’s Anthony Lucero “we have 10 investors in El Rito Media that live and work in New Mexico and so we are happy to provide local ownership and we hope local leadership.” 

Anthony Lucero explained we are happy to see a local New Mexico ownership group acquire the Daily News. Mr Connor then said, “it’s our belief collaboration between members of the media is absolutely essential today and so we really look forward to partnering with your station and other people in the media and communications business in Alamogordo and that region of the state, collaboration is what we believe in.”

To hear the live interview between El Rito Media’s Richard Connor and our Anthony Lucero tune in to streaming KALHRadio or listen to our podcast of the exclusive interview on YouTube or Spotify

In 2022 group of Republicans and Democrats, contrarians all, formed El Rito Media, LLC, for the purpose of undertaking an experiment. Their question was whether a formula could be devised for saving local newspapers? Local newspapers were disappearing, but the members of El Rito considered local newspapers to be vital to the wellbeing of local communities.

Per a release from El Rito Media in the Rio Grand Sun, ”El Rito’s initial purchase in 2022 was the Rio Grande Sun in Española, New Mexico. One year ago, it bought The Artesia Daily Press in Artesia, New Mexico.

Now, the experiment continues as El Rito Media, LLC has agreed to purchase from Gannett three additional newspapers in New Mexico: the Alamogordo Daily News, the Carlsbad Current Argus, and the Ruidoso News.”

The deal is expected to close on June 1st. 

Alamogordo Daily News has had significant turmoil since being acquired by Gannett Corporation. Their respected local reporter Nicole Maxwell left and the paper has not had a local Alamogordo based reporter since. The paper hired a Las Cruces based reporter that publishes one story a day that is locally focused and the rest is filler from other papers and Gannett. 

The Alamogordo Daily News claims 1898 as its founding date, but a case can be made for 1896. A predecessor, the Chief, was founded in Tularosa as a weekly in 1896, then moved to La Luz the next year and changed its name to Sacramento Chief. It was sold to the Alamogordo Printing Company in 1899 and continued under the same name briefly before becoming the Alamogordo News. The paper continued as a weekly until the 1950s when it went daily.
The paper has been sold several times.

The Daily News was sold by Community Newspaper Holdings to MediaNews Group in 2001. The paper is part of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, a joint venture formed in 2003 between MediaNews Group and Gannett, with MediaNews Group the managing partner. The paper is now being sold to El Rito Media LLC effective June 1, 2024.

The paper was an evening paper until September 1, 2006, published weekday evenings and Sunday mornings. It then switched to a morning paper, published daily except Mondays. In 2015, Gannett acquired full ownership of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership.

In March 2024, the newspaper announced it will switch from carrier to postal delivery. The Daily News was at its peak hosted reporters dedicated to sports with a sports editor, political analyst, an in town editorial board, features writers focused on arts, culture, business and military correspondent and a State House Correspondent

Those days are long gone but the acquisition by El Rito Media may provide it an opportunity of rebirth. 

The Daily News circulation, that at peak was in the 10s of thousands of readers, per a recent audit is now down 6,355 Daily and 7569 on Sundays and further shrinking with the transition to mail delivery.

The result of the collapse of the local newspaper coverage resulted in a news desert for Alamogordo that is now being filled by the independent voice of the 2nd Life Media properties and hopefully a reboot of the Daily News via El Rito Media LLC.

At 2nd Life Media Inc, we welcome the ownership change of the Daily News, and look forward to media collaborations forming in this media desert of Southern New Mexico, to blossom into an information oasis. 

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