Preservation: Saving the Neighborhood

No News is Bad News

 

The bad economy and shrinking world of publications downed an Old West stalwart in mid-May. The Tucson Citizen, founded in 1870, bit the dust.

Richard McCormick and John Wasson founded the weekly publication in 1870, making it the Republican Party voice of Pima County. In 1877, John Clum bought the paper and made it a daily. He left by 1880 to start the Epitaph in Tombstone. A year later, the Citizen carried the news about the O.K. Corral street fight.

New owners hired former Cochise County Sheriff (and Earp nemesis) John Behan as business manager (a strange move, since he was a Democrat). A month later, he was fired—but he came back to the office with a loaded gun, kicked out the editor, barricaded himself in the building and demanded repayment of his $600 investment.

In recent years, the giant Gannett Corporation ran both Tucson papers, the Citizen and the Star. Falling readership and advertising revenues doomed the former publication. Gannett closed the doors on May 19.

A web “version” of the Citizen still exists, but it’s primarily comprised of blogs and commentaries.

TucsonCitizen.com

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