The Independent is changing hands, and will continue publication under new ownership starting at the beginning of the year.

The Independent will join the CTRL+P Publishing group (newmexico.news) owned by Pat Davis, who acquired the Sandoval Signpost and Corrales Comment newspapers earlier this year. CTRL+P also publishes The Paper, Albuquerque’s alt-weekly newspaper, where Davis is a co-owner.

“Owning a community newspaper has been an exciting and challenging ride, and I’ve enjoyed it. But after getting Covid at the beginning of the year, we just haven’t been able to recover. When I got sick a month ago for what seemed like the hundredth time this year, we couldn’t publish the newspaper,” says Leota Harriman, the newspaper’s current owner. “Meanwhile, big stories are brewing in our little neck of the woods. The Edgewood town commission is holding meeting after meeting after meeting, and taking big, bold actions at every turn. We have a credible allegation of malfeasance in office by the Torrance County Clerk.”

Other big stories, about the accomplishments of our kids, the efforts of volunteers around the community, art shows and music performances happening—and that’s just the beginning. We have businesses who want to tell you what they offer and when they’re having a sale, and when they’re open or closed. We have government entities hosting events like Woofstock, or the East Mountain Celebration, or the Punkin Chunkin.

We have groups organized around everything from sports teams to common interests like gardening or square dancing.

Without The Independent, most of these stories will be told to a much more limited audience. “It’s more important to me that this little community newspaper continue, than that my ownership of it continues,” Harriman says.

“It’s no secret that small businesses, and especially small papers, have had a hard time,” Davis said. “But we’re in this because friends in Edgewood and the East Mountains asked us to help.”

Over the next few months, CTRL+P will invest in The Independent with an updated website, new options for digital subscriptions and expand printing and pickups to more locations—as long as readers and other small businesses see value in keeping a local news option.

“There aren’t many other businesses who touch every single resident, business and politician but good papers like The Independent do. Our job is to take care of the work of managing subscriptions, editing the website and the boring business of news so reporters and contributors can spend more time in public meetings and talking to readers,” Davis says. “If we don’t, the East Mountains and Estancia Valley will be a news desert without anyone to keep watch on local government, or help another struggling local business connect with local customers.”

All of the local staff will be offered the opportunity to remain working at the paper and it will maintain a local office in Edgewood. Leota Harriman will remain as Editor at Large and publisher emeritus.