El Rito Media acquires Artesia Daily Press

Feb 14, 2023

ARTESIA, New Mexico – After nearly 70 years under the ownership of the Green family, the Artesia Daily Press has been sold to El Rito Media, LLC.

This is El Rito Media’s second newspaper acquisition in the state – it purchased the Rio Grande Sun in Española in April of 2022.

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented El Rito Media in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

El Rito Media is made up of a group of New Mexico residents which includes members of Artesia’s Yates family. Leading the purchase of the newspaper was Harvey E. Yates, Jr. of Albuquerque and his cousin, Artesia businessman and civic leader Peyton Yates. Other investors in El Rito Media are State Representative Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde; Brian Ortiz, Española; Francisco Romero, Albuquerque; Ryan Cangiolosi, Albuquerque; Jalapeño Corp., Albuquerque; and Mosquito Corp., Santa Fe.

The Artesia Daily Press was founded by Lincoln O’ Brian and James K. Green on June 2, 1954, the day after the competing Artesia Advocate began publishing. The two papers competed head-to-head for nearly two years until they merged on May 3, 1956.

James K. Green became sole owner of operation in 1970 and his sons, Ken and Walt, joined their father in running Valley Newspapers, Inc. The company grew to include newspapers in Socorro, Deming, Ruidoso, and Valencia County, all of which have since been sold.