Adams Is “St. Lukes” Of Idaho Newspapers

The Adams Publishing group is fast becoming the “St. Lukes” of the news business in Idaho. They have as many newspapers as St. Lukes has medical facilities.

The Adams family chain purchased the Boise Weekly Wednesday, adding another link in the growing chain of daily and weekly newspapers owned by the group throughout southern Idaho. No details about price were revealed, but the announcement claimed Sally Freeman will remain publisher of the liberal leaning “alternative weekly.”

The WEEKLY offices in Boise will be the base of operations for the staff hired by the IDAHO PRESS to cover police, county, city hall and other local news sources. The Idaho Press has made no bones about challenging the IDAHO STATESMAN for local coverage on the printed page.

The Statesman has been without a printing press for quite a few years. It was printed at the Idaho Press Tribune along with a bunch of other newspapers, but that deal was terminated in the past year, forcing the Statesman to find ink and paper 120 miles to the east in Twin Falls. Circulation has dropped to about 30,000. Back about 1970 the Statesman could be purchased from Riggins to Rexburg every day and circulation was over 60,000 (70,000 on Sundays) while the population was about one third of today’s booming market.

The Adams folks own dailies in Idaho Falls and Pocatello and a bunch of weeklies, including Kuna-Melba, Meridian, Emmett and now Boise. Adams is by far the largest newspaper publisher in Idaho.The trend of hiring more reporters and increasing printed newspaper coverage and circulation is contrary to the national trend.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. western guy
    Aug 2, 2018, 9:35 pm


    Within one year, Statesman publishes hard copy 3-4 days a week.

    Within 3 years, Statesman no longer publishes hard copy. Idaho Press (and it’s local small-town outlets), prints twice as many hard copy as Statesman did before folding.


    EDITOR NOTE–Sadly, you are probably correct. We hate to see the demise of the STATESMAN, but it is of their own doing. Like Team Dave, they march to the beat of their own drummer ignoring the will of the people.

  2. Steve at Keep Boise Unique
    Aug 2, 2018, 9:59 pm

    Will multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos (of Amazon/Washington Post) be far behind in cornering the market for print media in southern Idaho?

    By the way, is it true that George Soros indirectly owns a newspaper in Twin Falls?
    Finally, it would be nice to have a Boise newspaper that actually covers both progressive and conservative viewpoints.

    If you print a column from the Washington Post, print one from the Washington Times. If you relate stories from CNN, also relate stories from Fox News.

    If you cover national issues (such as transgenderism and open bathrooms) with a local angle, get different sides.

    When you cover local growth, don’t divide the issue simply into pro-growth versus anti-growth — but really look into the merits of each development, and whether it is being handled fairly by our local officials.

    Also, please look at the bigger pictures concerning growth with nuance and dexterity and balance. Plus, how are other cities dealing with common issues such as transportation and affordable housing and taxes?

    Is that really so hard? When I went to journalism school at Northwestern almost forty years ago (1980-84), one of our instructors encouraged a healthy skepticism by saying something like: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

    While I was somewhat in awe of many of my fellow journalism students for their intelligence and confidence and ability, it seems to me now that the likes of these in the mainstream media have mostly sold out to extremist progressivism with little to no skepticism at all.

    I am baffled as to how so many intelligent and confident and able journalists are apparently content to be lapdogs for the most radical elements of the Democratic Party — as submissive and insipid as a public relations department. How degrading!

    EDITOR NOTE–Steve, glad to have your comments, but you simply need to edit yourself. You often get more space than the original story. We have asked before, PLEASE keep it shorter.

  3. Bieter Begone
    Aug 3, 2018, 6:56 am

    The Idaho Press Tribune reports on local news in Ada County. The statesman doesn’t do that. They prefer bizarre clickbait stories from Missouri.

    Why the legislature protects the statesman regarding taxpayer funded legal ads is beyond me. It certainly isn’t general circulation anymore. And I doubt the statesman makes enough money to “lobby” legislators in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

  4. I was recently reading of early American politics- it was true then too, newspapers had a political slant. Newspapers were CREATED to express a particular political viewpoint.

    The Founding Fathers were onto something.
    Free Press. Free Speech.

    Not sure why some readers feel a newspaper can’t (or should not) have a slant– at the printers success or failure, so be it.

  5. Newspapers can have a slant via editorials but for hard news so-called journalists on television and in print have forgotten it isn’t tough to be a respected newsperson if you remember and apply: Who-What-Why-When-Where and How. On TV mmost journalists (?) have law degrees not majors in journalism. The Statesman has decided the news day is over at 8:00pm because anything later will miss the Twin Falls presses. Oh have you seen any American Legion baseball scores or standings 25 teams in Ada and Canyon counties but not a peep. No box scores for the Boise Hawks…pathetic.

  6. Yossarian_22
    Aug 3, 2018, 8:30 pm

    The concentration of media assets has long been the ultimate goal of a 1984 bent mindset that has exploited the “free” internet as a bridge to nowhere for the printed word. Now, if the Statesman et al had actually represented the common Idahoan, instead of the Kevin Richert styled elitist snobs, then they might still be in business. What we have is a deeply divided nation of populists vs elitists that are being misrepresented as conservatives vs liberals. The old labels don’t mean as much but the tribal warfare keeps the people divided on misnomer camps. Just what the snobs want. Waking up is hard to do.

  7. Chickenhawk
    Aug 4, 2018, 8:48 am

    I can see the Statesman being next in the Adams acquisition plans. When more people realize how fast the Idaho Press growth has been, the Statesman numbers will continue to plunge. Then the Curtis Rowd facility, which has been on the market for at least a year if not two, can be repurposed as a bureau? Then McClatchy can finally shed their losses.

  8. Hooray for the Idaho Press. I have cancelled the Statesman and subscribed to the superior Idaho Press.

    They have hired the best reporter in Idaho (Betsy Russell) from Spokane’s Spokesman Review.

    Betsy’s Blog, “Eye on Boise” has been the best source of Idaho Legislative news for years.

    Another bonus is that they actually report on things that happened THE DAY BEFORE! They are not hampered by printing their paper 135 miles from their readers.

    The Idaho Press will report on Boise State games the next day, even with late starting games.

    They include baseball box scores which the Statesman dumped a year ago. Their agriculture and outdoor coverage is comprehensive.

    In short I have switched to a newspaper that better serves my needs.

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