Officials criticize local media

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By David Giuliani

Two City Council members criticized local media organizations Wednesday, saying they are too negative about the community.

Near the end of the council’s regular meeting, Councilman Cruz Roybal said that “air media” organizations are unfairly negative. He said the city is making progress in economic development, citing Old Wood as an example. But he said claims are being made on the radio that the city is stagnating.

“Who would want to settle in Las Vegas hearing that?” he asked.

A few minutes later, Councilman Eugene Romero criticized the Optic for not telling the truth and focusing on the negative. He said the Optic is for sale and he hopes the new owner changes the newspaper’s direction.

“I hope it’s a more positive paper,” he said.

Romero noted that Chris Lopez, the owner of the Tri-County News-Times, is a possible new owner of the Optic. In a later interview, he said the News-Times tells it like it is and he would appreciate if the Optic followed that example.

Romero also said the Optic twists news and leaves crucial information out of its stories.

In last week’s edition of the News-Times, a story suggested that the Optic was for sale because of the competition from the News-Times, formerly the Las Vegas Times, which started in the summer of 2006.

The Optic’s parent company, Norfolk, Va.-based Landmark Communications, announced that it plans to sell the company, which owns The Weather Channel and other television stations and more than 100 publications around the country. The company had around $1.75 billion in sales in 2006, according to the business reference service Hoover’s.