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The Changing Las Vegas Media Landscape

The media landscape in Las Vegas is changing.

Over the past two years, several local television stations, who were privately owned, have been sold to outside companies.

Then the Las Vegas Sun changed hands within the Greenspun family. City Life, an alt-weekly, was closed.

And now the billionaire investor Warren Stephens has sold the Las Vegas Review-Journal and his Stephens Media business to New Media Investment Group.

Al Tompkins with the Poyter Institute told KNPR’s State of Nevada that New Media Investment Group specializes in small, local newspapers around the country and has managed to make them profitable.

Freelance reporter Steve Friess doubts the change at the Review-Journal will impact what the paper actually covers.

“This is a company that knows how to make these properties profitable and journalists should be happy about that,” Friess said.

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And while the Tompkins acknowledges a decline in news consumption, he believes there is still an appetite for coverage of important stories.

“Serious news organizations still have a place and people very much want reliable news,” Tompkins said.

And according to research by the Pew Research Center, most people get their news from local TV news.

Two of the stations in Las Vegas have recently been sold, but Friess doesn’t believe coverage on local TV news has changed.

“I’m not convinced that there is as much as appetite for ‘hard news’ as everybody says,” Friess said. “I’m not convinced that a half-hour newscast is any different than it ever was.”  

GUEST:

Al Tompkins, faculty member, Poynter Institute

Steve Friess, freelance reporter

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