Silver City Daily Press
The paper's Wednesday, March 11, 2015 front page
|Owner(s)||The Silver City Independent Publishing Company, LLC|
|Publisher||Nickolas C. Seibel|
|Managing editors||Dean Thompson|
|Founded||1896(as The Silver City Independent)|
|Headquarters||3130 A B Hwy 180 East
Silver City, New Mexico, United States
The Silver City Daily Press and Independent is a five-day daily newspaper that serves the Silver City, New Mexico area of the United States. Founded in 1896 as the weekly Silver City Independent, the paper was purchased by the Ely family in 1934. In 1935, Colonel Clyde Ely renamed the paper the Silver City Daily Press and Independent and converted it into a daily newspaper. In 2007, the newspaper received the Mark Twain Award from the New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors for their outstanding member cooperation in 2006. Since the 2008 recession, the newspaper has outsourced its printing, discontinued its Saturday edition, increased its online presence, discontinued its membership in the Associated Press and joined an 11-member New Mexico newspaper exchange. The name, archives and website of the Daily Press were purchased by the Silver City Independent Publishing Company, LLC, in April, 2014, marking its first non-Ely family ownership since its conversion to a daily newspaper.
The Silver City Daily Press traces its origins to the 1896 establishment of the Silver City Independent, a weekly newspaper published Silver City, New Mexico. On October 1, 1934, the Ely family purchased the Independent. On June 26, 1935, the Elys converted the paper into a daily, and renamed it the Silver City Daily Press and Independent the following year. At that time, the Ely family also owned Gallup Independent and the Yuma Arizona Sentinel newspapers. The head of the family, Colonel Clyde Ely, appointed his son, William F. Ely, as the president and co-publisher of the Silver City Daily Press. The newspaper moved to the Silver City Daily Press building on Market Street following the building's completion in 1937.
In 1999, the Silver City Daily Press took first place in the column writing category at the annual New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors awards. The newspaper also took second place in both editorials and sports photo categories. A year later in 2000, the newspaper again took first place in the column writing category but additionally received first place for photo essay. They also received awards for their editorials, feature photos, and features columns in 2000.
At the end of 2006, owner and paper manager Betty Ely died, leaving ownership of the newspaper to her three children, Wes Lorier, Clyde Ely, and Christina (Tina) Ely. Before her death, Betty Ely passed control to Tina, who became the publisher and editor. When Mrs. Ely died, Tina noted that her mother passed control of the newspaper to her, "as my father did to her and my grandfather did to my dad. We will continue into generations to come. All my predecessors live on in the pages of our paper."
In October 2006, the Secretary of State of New Mexico place approximately $13,500 worth of legal ads with the The Silver City Daily Press in connection with the then-upcoming November elections. Five months later, the state failed to pay what was owed to the newspaper and its editor and publisher Tina Ely, a single mother, took out a second mortgage on her home to meet the newspaper's payroll due the unpaid bill from the Secretary of State's Office. In addition, federal auditors were reviewing these and other expenditures by former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, whose subsequent August 2009 indictment on charges embezzlement of federal money meant for voter education were ordered dropped in 2012 by a New Mexico District Judge.
In April 2007, the Silver City Daily Press received the Mark Twain Award from the New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors (NMAPME). First awarded by NMAPME in 1996, the Silver City Daily Press receive the Mark Twain Award in 2007 for their outstanding member cooperation throughout the year 2006.
In 2008, the newspaper switched from using its own printing presses to outsourcing the job of printing the daily paper to Signature Offset, a printing firm located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The decision to hire an outside printing house was based on the cost of upgrading the 1930s printing machines at the Silver City Daily Press to digital technology. At that time, the contents of the newspaper were sent to Signature Offset at 10 a.m. each day and distributed around Silver City by the afternoon of that same day. Seven months later, the newspaper discontinued its Saturday edition due to economic factors, postal rates, and printing costs, and began devoting more time to its online edition . Joseph "Joby" Aguirre, one of the pressman laid off from the Silver City Daily Press in 2008 when the newspaper discontinued its local printing operation, went on to be named 2010 Police Officer of the Year by Silver City Police.
In 2013, the Silver City Daily Press became one of eleven member newspapers of the Community News Exchange. In addition to receiving the ability to publish content in an average of 67,000 newspapers per publication day, the Silver City Daily Press obtained publishing rights access through the exchange to small-town community news from member newspapers around New Mexico. As described by Community News Exchange editor Tom McDonald, "The objective is to not only provide smaller newspapers with a news-sharing system, but to deliver to them quality content that supplements their local news-gathering operations."
On Friday, April 25, 2014, the Daily Press announced both in a front-page story and on its website that it would cease publication after its next issue, which would be the following Monday, April 28. The story cited declining advertising revenues as the primary reason for the impending closure. After reading the announcement in the paper, former Daily Press General Manager Nickolas Seibel assembled a group of local investors to back him in a purchase of some of the newspaper's assets, including the name, website, archives and a few pieces of equipment. The potential deal was announced in what was to be the newspaper's final issue on Monday, April 28, and the newspaper was first published under the ownership of Seibel's Silver City Independent Publishing Company, LLC, on Tuesday, April 29 — without missing a day of publication.
- Journal Staff Report (April 8, 1995), Publisher William F. Ely Dies, Albuquerque Journal, p. B3
- Mifflin James Campbell, one of the original members of the popular 1930s AN, Associated Press, April 7, 1995, retrieved November 16, 2013
- Christine Steele (May 15, 2010), New mural graces Hub, Silver City Sun News, retrieved November 16, 2013
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