Lee Enterprises

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Gazette bought by Last Best News, will go to print-only


In a move sure to set heads spinning in the newspaper industry, Last Best News has purchased the Billings Gazette, it was announced shortly after midnight today, Sunday, April 1. Widely seen as a plucky upstart with questionable prospects when it launched as an online-only newspaper just four and a half years ago, Last Best News now finds itself owning the largest daily newspaper in Montana. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Missoula Independent takes steps toward unionization


The employees of the Missoula Independent have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to begin the process of forming a union, according to a press release sent Monday afternoon by the Missoula News Guild Organizing Committee. Support for the filing was unanimous across the staff’s editorial, production and sales departments, the release stated. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Workers at Lee-owned Casper paper look to unionize


Here’s some good news about all the bad news regarding Lee Enterprises, the Iowa-based newspaper chain that owns the Billings Gazette and other newspapers in Montana. Employees at the Lee-owned Casper Star-Tribune are trying to unionize, according to a story by Corey Hutchins at the Columbia Journalism Review. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Lee trims staff at Montana papers, including Gazette


Lee Enterprises recently implemented another round of staff cuts at its Montana newspapers, including the Billings Gazette, the largest newspaper in the state. At the Gazette, it appears that at least seven people were laid off or agreed to take buyouts in recent weeks, including up to three people in the newsroom. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Freshly arrived writer overwhelmed by Montana crime news


A recently arrived resident of Missoula has noticed a curious thing: that exposure to Montana’s daily newspapers makes one keenly, alarmingly aware of local crime. Anne Helen Petersen, the author of these musings, is a bit more than a casual observer. She is a native of Idaho who covers the West for Buzzfeed, who wrote one of the best, most thoughtful pieces on the special election that resulted in Greg Gianforte’s ascension to the House of Representatives. (more…) Continue Reading →

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On the way out, a Lee publisher blasts the home office


In my Prairie Lights column this Sunday, I wrote about the same-day endorsements of U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte in three Montana daily newspapers, all of them owned by Lee Enterprises. I said that in my many years with Lee I had never seen any “overt attempts at corporate dictation, or even of political collusion among several Lee papers.” I hope it was clear that my reference to corporate dictation referred only to matters of political endorsements and such. In other matters—those that most closely affect readers—there was never-ending corporate control, and apparently it’s only getting worse. In a remarkable good-bye column published Friday, Chris Rush announced to readers of The World, a Lee-owned newspaper in Coos Bay, Ore., that he was stepping down as publisher. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: A 2nd opinion on that triple endorsement


Unsurprisingly, three Montana daily newspapers, all owned by Lee Enterprises, have come out in support of Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in the special election to fill Montana’s vacant (and only) seat in the U.S. House. You can read what the editorial boards of the Billings Gazette, the Missoulian and the Helena Independent-Record had to say, or you could just glance at one of them, because they all said essentially the same thing: that in these perilous times we need somebody who can get right to work, which they claim Gianforte is ready to do. (more…) Continue Reading →

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