Starting Over, Reporter Buys a Newspaper

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

Between pleading with an advertiser, fending off a complaining reader and taking a break to watch a scorpion scuttle down the sidewalk, M. E. Sprengelmeyer gives a visitor to his office this advice: “Watch out for the hole in the floor.”

He isn’t joking. Eight months ago, Mr. Sprengelmeyer, 42, worked as the sole Washington correspondent for The Rocky Mountain News, the Denver newspaper that went out of business in February, but his job these days is a far cry from the Senate press gallery.

In August, he embarked on a new life in this isolated little town as owner, publisher, editor, primary writer and sometime ad salesman, photographer and deliverer of the weekly Guadalupe County Communicator, circulation about 2,000.

“I covered the war in Iraq and the presidential campaign, and I knew I was never going to top that, even if I found another reporting job,” he said, sitting on a battered chair in his single-story storefront space. More…