|Founded||1890 (as The Arizona Republican)|
|Headquarters||200 East Van Buren Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
The Arizona Republic is a daily newspaper published in Phoenix, Arizona. Circulated throughout Arizona, it is the state's largest newspaper. Since 2000, it has been owned by the Gannett newspaper chain. It was ranked tenth in US daily newspapers by circulation in 2007.
The newspaper was founded May 19, 1890, under the name The Arizona Republican.
Dwight B. Heard, a Phoenix land and cattle baron, ran the newspaper from 1912 until his death in 1929. The paper was then run by two of its top executives, Charles Stauffer and W. Wesley Knorpp, until it was bought by midwestern newspaper magnate Eugene C. Pulliam in 1946. Stauffer and Knorpp had changed the newspaper's name to The Arizona Republic in 1930, and also had bought the rival Phoenix Evening Gazette and Phoenix Weekly Gazette, later known, respectively, as The Phoenix Gazette and the Arizona Business Gazette.
Pulliam, who bought the two Gazettes as well as the Republic, ran all three newspapers until his death in 1975 at the age of 86. A strong period of growth came under Pulliam, who imprinted the newspaper with his conservative brand of politics and his drive for civic leadership. Pulliam was considered one of the influential business leaders who created the modern Phoenix area as it is known today.
Pulliam's holding company, Central Newspapers, Inc., as led by Pulliam's widow and son, assumed operation of the Republic/Gazette family of papers upon the elder Pulliam's death. The Phoenix Gazette was closed in 1997 and its staff merged with that of the Republic. The Arizona Business Gazette is still published to this day.
In 1998, a weekly section geared towards college students, "The Rep", went into circulation. Specialized content is also available in the local sections produced for many of the different cities and suburbs that make up the Phoenix metropolitan area. There have been many such efforts by the Republic to stem years of declining circulation. Most criticism of the attempts accuse the Republic of seeking the lowest common denominator among ever-increasing groups and factions the paper tries to serve.
Central Newspapers was purchased by Gannett in 2000, bringing it into common ownership with USA Today, the Tucson Citizen (the afternoon newspaper in Tucson which Gannett purchased in 1977) and the local Phoenix NBC television affiliate, KPNX. The Republic often supplements its coverage of Southern Arizona with stories from the Citizen. The Republic and KPNX combine their forces to produce their common local news website, www.azcentral.com. It is the most-visited site in the state of Arizona and is among the most-trafficked newspaper websites in the U.S. The consolidation of media within the Phoenix market has made the metropolitan area a one-newspaper town and given Gannett a monopoly in the area. A local free publication, the Phoenix New Times, is the only local publication to offer an alternative source of information in print. An attempt to combine the resources of the Gazette and Republic within the same building and with the same staff, but calling the publications 'editorially separate' was widely protested by citizens and the cost-saving measure ultimately failed, causing the Gazette to fail. Many locals believe the Republic presently bears the 'corporate stamp' of the Gannett conglomeration. In recent years the Republic has resorted to emphasis on celebrity reporting and featuring attractive and scantily-clad women on the website in an attempt to lure traffic. Circulation has been dropping steadily in recent years and Gannett may decide to close the one heralded Republic.
Notable figures include Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist Steve Benson and Luis Manuel Ortiz, the only Hispanic member of the Arizona Journalism Hall of Fame. One of Arizona's best-known sports writers, Norm Frauenheim, retired in 2008. The Republic and its staff are often criticized within the local community for taking advantage of the fact Phoenix is a one-newspaper town. Most criticism centers around the fact the Republic often uncritically backs local politicians, sports business interests and developers, usually to the detriment of taxpayers. A local free weekly publication, the Phoenix New Times, consistently distributes more copies than the Republic and covers local topics concerning corruption in politics and business that seldom appear in the Republic.
An investigative reporter for the newspaper, Don Bolles, was the victim of a car bombing on June 2, 1976, dying eleven days afterward. He had been lured to a meeting in Phoenix in the course of work on a story about corruption in local politics and business and the bomb detonated as he started his car to leave. Retaliation against his pursuit of organized crime in Arizona is thought to be a motive in the murder.
The Arizona Republic editorial board endorsed President George W. Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. In local elections, it has recently endorsed Democratic candidates such as former Arizona Governor and now Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and current Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell. On October 25, 2008, the paper endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain for president. The editors do not favor bashing immigrants or other elements of the platform of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. Developers and sports businesses enjoy much free publicity in the Republic, and the editors are generally pro-business. The pro-development stance of the editors sometimes clashes with the Republic's avowed stance as pro-environment.
Increasingly, the Republic is criticized for its pro-growth stance by local environmentalists who rail against unchecked population growth and development to sustain what is considered 'economic growth'. Many radical left-wingers accuse the Republic of hastening the decline in the economic and living standards in the metropolitan area by encouraging low-wage service businesses to locate to Phoenix and government policies that lead to overcrowding and a degradation in government services.