|Type Daily newspaper|
Owner(s) Gannett Company
Editor Randy Lovely
Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish
|Founded May 19, 1890 (1890-05-19) (as The Arizona Republican)|
The Arizona Republic is an American daily newspaper published in Phoenix. Circulated throughout Arizona, it is the state's largest newspaper. Since 2000, it has been owned by the Gannett newspaper chain.
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.
Central Newspapers was purchased by Gannett in 2000, bringing it into common ownership with USA Today and the local Phoenix NBC television affiliate, KPNX. The Republic and KPNX combine their forces to produce their common local news subscription website, www.azcentral.com. In 2013, it dropped from the sixteenth daily newspaper in the United States to the twenty-first, by circulation. On September 25, 2015, Mi-Ai Parrish was named Publisher and President of both the paper and its AZCentral.com website, effective October 12.
Notable figures include Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist Steve Benson, columnist Laurie Roberts, 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. Multiple staff members have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Other staff include photojournalist Michael Schennum.
Don Bolles murder
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.
Historically, The Republic has tilted conservative editorially. It endorsed President George W. Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. On October 25, 2008, the paper endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain for president.
In local elections, it has recently endorsed Democratic candidates such as former Arizona Governor, former Secretary of Homeland Security, and now President of the University of California Janet Napolitano and former Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell.
On September 27, 2016, the paper endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential election, marking the first time in the paper's 126-year history that it had endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. Previously, the paper had only withheld its endorsement from a Republican nominee/candidate twice in its history.
During the unusual sequence of events that led up to the 1912 presidential election the paper had opted not to endorse the "formal" Republican party nominee for that election cycle. This was shortly after Theodore Roosevelt had lost the Republican convention nomination to Howard Taft in the controversial, and allegedly rigged, party convention of that year. After Roosevelt's convention loss, and also after the hasty formation of the "made to order" Bull Moose Party, the paper continued to endorse Theodore Roosevelt via the newly formed party. As a result of Roosevelt's insistence on an independent presidential bid that year, the Republican party of 1912 was in disarray, yielding that year's presidential election to the Democrats, with the GOP only able to carry a total of 8 electoral votes that year. Two of the main planks of Roosevelt's progressive Bull Moose platform had been campaign finance reform and improved governmental accountability.
In the 1968 presidential election, the paper declined to endorse either Richard Nixon or Hubert Humphrey, asserting that "all candidates are good candidates." In the paper's 2016 editorial decision to take the further step of actually endorsing a Democratic candidate for the first time, the paper argued that despite Clinton's flaws, it could not support Republican nominee Donald Trump, denouncing him as "not conservative" and "not qualified." The board also argued that Trump had "deep character flaws.... (and) ... stunning lack of human decency, empathy and respect," suggesting that it was evidence he "doesn't grasp our national ideals." The paper also noted its concern regarding whether or not Trump would possess the necessary restraint needed for someone with access to nuclear weapons, stating, "The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric."