Associated Press reports that the Gannett newspaper chain, which owns the Tucson Citizen, has rejected an offer from Santa Monica Media Co., owner of the Santa Monica and Culver City Observers. The Citizen, Arizona's oldest continuously published daily, had been on the block since January, when Gannett announced it would close the paper if no suitors expressed interest in buying it.
Santa Monica Media Co. spokesman David Ganezer claims negotiations for the Citizen are continuing with Gannett, the country's largest publisher and owner of USA Today and the Arizona Republic. One thing Gannett has not included in the sale of the Citizen is its joint operating arrangement with its Tucson rival, the Arizona Daily Star, meaning a new owner must build its own, individual advertising, production and distribution staffs. A Tucson Citizen report mentions that the U.S. Department of Justice is engaged in an examination of Gannett's sale of the paper. Two weeks ago Phoenix New Times posted a blog about Gannett keeping “unsavory news stories” out of the Citizen.