Jeff Radford (l) and new Corrales Comment owner Pat Davis, celebrate Jeff's 80th birthday and the sale of the paper. Photo by Katie Neeley
This issue is my last as editor, publisher and owner of Corrales Comment. Ownership passes to a new entity, “87048 LLC,” created by Albuquerque City Councillor Pat Davis who also publishes The Paper as an alternative to the Albuquerque Journal. (See his guest commentary on Page 2 of this print issue.)

A closing on the sale of this community newspaper will probably occur before the June 25 issue hits the streets and post office boxes. He and his publisher, Tierna Unruh-Enos, have said they intend to retain much of what Comment readers have come to expect over the years while expanding news coverage and digital distribution through the website and other media. By mutual agreement, I will still be around and involved. I am to remain on the Comment masthead as publisher emeritus. The new owners have requested that I continue reporting occasionally and, perhaps more importantly, suggest to them what local events and situations warrant assignments to other reporters.

The new publisher, Unruh-Enos, offered the following assurances to Comment readers.

“Jeff Radford is a local journalism legend in his own right, and that is most evident in the loyal readership the Corrales Comment has garnered over the past 40 years.

“We are excited to embark on this new chapter of the Corrales Comment as we are dedicated to serving the people and businesses of Corrales and Sandoval County. We hope to expand our distribution and coverage in 2023 while staying true to the mission of local, independent coverage. Reporting as if democracy matters.

“In the coming months, we plan to offer businesses more digital advertising opportunities, as well as create a comprehensive calendar of events both online and in print. If you have an event coming up, we’d love to hear about it! We’ll have a dedicated opinion column, and we want to hear from you.”

She said all op-ed columns, story ideas and event submissions should be emailed to editor@abq. news.

“For current and future advertisers, we look forward to working with you and our sales team will be in touch with each and every one of you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our sales team at sales@abq.news

“Here’s to 40 more years of the Corrales Comment!”

s most Comment readers probably know, I have been trying to find a new owner for the past five years; the burdens of ownership were getting to be too much, and the pandemic made my workload excessive.

I had always said I thought I could do this until I was 80. I turned 80 this month. I had resolved to close the newspaper if a new owner could not be found.

The needed transition has been achieved, with several Corraleños’ help.

As Davis explains, “ownership of the Comment is moving to the New Mexico Local News Preservation Project, a soon-to-be certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) I founded with the mission to preserve and enhance local newspapers that are the best platforms for local civic engagement, cultural preservation and economic development.”

When I started the Comment 40 years ago, my primary objective was to serve as a channel for public participation, to  help villagers express their will to those making decisions. People living here could decide what they wanted their community to be, and then have a decent chance to make it reality.

Hence the motto “News Reporting as if Democracy Matters.”

A secondary objective was sustainability: I wanted this paper to continue.

In my 59-year career in journalism, I had helped start publications on three continents (four if you count Central America). The most hare-brained ideas were not my own and took none of my own money. One was astute and apparently well-funded (a Latin American version of the International Herald Tribune based in Rio de Janeiro). All closed quickly.

Over the years, regular readers of this newspaper frequently told me they felt they had spoken to me recently even though we hadn’t connected in person in months or even years. That happened because we had, in fact, been communicating.

It is akin to mental telepathy; based on years of common experience, I know what you’re thinking and you know what I’m thinking (bounded by lots of barriers and realities). But over the past four decades, it is really just a shared mindset.

Former State Senator Pauline Eisenstadt, still a subscriber although she  moved to Rio Rancho years ago, used to say Corrales Comment is the glue that holds this community together. It can continue to be that.

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Jeff Radford

Jeff Radford is the founder and publisher emeritus of the Corrales Comment. He retired and sold the paper in 2022 and remains an occasional contributor to the Comment.

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