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Salazar named Optic publisher

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By Dave Kavanaugh

After serving as the Las Vegas Optic’s interim general manager and editor for the past 10 months, Martin Salazar has been appointed publisher and editor of the newspaper.

The Optic’s parent company, Landmark Community Newspapers, announced the move on Monday.

“Martin played a major role in addressing (several) key issues and making sure the Las Vegas Optic is positioned better for the future,” said Dan Sykes, an executive vice president with Landmark, in a statement issued this week.

Salazar pledged to continue to work diligently for the newspaper and its readers.

“I am humbled by this opportunity I have been given to lead one of the oldest and most important institutions in Las Vegas,” Salazar said. “It’s no secret that 2013 was a difficult year with the closing of our printing plant, but that is behind us. I will work hard to reinvigorate the Optic’s news and advertising products and to improve customer service.”

A Las Vegas native and 1993 graduate of Robertson High, Salazar earned his journalism degree from the University of New Mexico. His career in newspapers includes stints at the Gallup Independent, the Wenatchee World in Washington state and the Albuquerque Journal, which he served for nearly seven years — most recently as an assistant city editor — before returning to his hometown paper in 2011.

In March 2013, he agreed to add the interim general manager duties to his job as managing editor when publisher-editor Tom McDonald resigned after eight years at the paper.

An award-winning journalist, he first worked for the Optic as a reporter from 2000 to 2003. McDonald has called Salazar “a true professional” with “a passion for Las Vegas.”

Salazar serves on the board of directors of the New Mexico Press Association and with the Foundation for Open Government, a watchdog organization.

Salazar said he’ll continue tackling the challenges every newspaper faces, here and elsewhere.

“Newspapers throughout the country are having to do more with fewer resources, and the Optic is no exception,” he said. “Both our newsroom and advertising department have been stretched thin in recent months, but we’re planning to increase staffing in those departments in the near future. Our editorial board will continue to take tough stances and to advocate positions that we feel will advance the community’s interests. And our newsroom will work hard to bring you the stories that are important to you.”

“Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the entire Optic staff, our contributing writers and columnists, members of the editorial board and our carriers for their hard work and dedication. Putting out a community newspaper three times a week requires a team effort, and the Optic has a great team.”