Gannett failed to find a buyer for the Tucson Citizen, so Saturday’s issue was the last for the afternoon daily. That will leave Tucson as a one newspaper town.
“Dramatic changes in our industry combined with the difficult economy – particularly in this region – mean it is no longer viable to produce two daily printed newspapers in Tucson,” said Bob Dickey, president of the U.S. Community Publishing division of Gannett. “We are pleased that the Citizen’s web site will continue its role as a place for a separate community conversation. Its staff will focus on stimulating public engagement in local affairs. We look forward to moving in this exciting direction,” he added.
Dickey said TNI Partners, the local joint operating agreement (JOA) partnership owned by Gannett and Lee Enterprises, will print a Tucson Citizen editorial in Lee’s Arizona Daily Star weekly to expand the reach of the Citizen’s voice.
According to a story posted Friday on the Tucson Citizen website, the final bidder for the assets of the newspaper was Stephen Hadland, owner and publisher of the Culver City (CA) Observer. The story said Gannett had been seeking $1 million and dropped its price to $800,000, but that Hadland would not go above $400,000. The assets being offered by Gannett did not include its 50% stake in the JOA.