Texas has been hit by a wave of newsroom consolidation over the past year.
In many instances, the media outlets and technology companies that have emerged from the region to compete with it are now competing for the same audiences.
But as the new crop of companies emerge and compete in the Texas market, they are also raising questions about how well the press is performing in a competitive environment.
“I don’t think there’s a strong media footprint in Texas anymore,” said Michael J. Ladd, a former Texas congressman who served as a state attorney general and a state representative.
“What the media does now, it doesn’t need to have a presence in Texas.
It can just move out of the state.”
In many cases, the new entrants are consolidating with media outlets in Texas and then turning to the military for resources to grow their businesses.
The move to the private sector, and especially to private military contractors, has created a new class of media mogul who have a lot of money and clout, but they can’t compete with the public media.
A report last month from the Texas Tribune said the Texas Press Association, a nonprofit that represents the state’s press, had seen a 20% jump in revenue in 2017.
The newspaper said that Texas had the largest number of private military contracts in the country in 2017, with nearly 1,000 contracts in six states and the District of Columbia.
The report also said the average contract price was $7.3 million, with the average for a contract in Texas at $16 million.
Lutz, the former Texas attorney general, said the public sector has been doing a good job of keeping the news and information from the public and the press.
He said the media has done a good enough job keeping information and news from the state from spreading and getting into the hands of the public.
But the private contractors have taken advantage of the situation, he said.
“They have been doing deals with us for years and years and we’re doing deals for them,” Lutz said.
When Ladd first became governor in 2010, he had little faith in the media.
He was one of the first to oppose the sale of the Texas newspaper.
“It was just an act of political cowardice,” he said in an interview last year.
“You can’t have a newspaper that is owned by the people, owned by Texans, owned in the community.”
But as Ladd’s office began to grow, he realized the media was a key part of his political success.
In 2010, Ladd signed a $3.3 billion budget that created the Texas Legislative Press Association.
The association’s mission is to support, promote, and defend the First Amendment rights of the press in Texas, and it works with newsrooms to publish stories and stories for their respective newspapers.
The group also serves as a clearinghouse for Texas politicians.
Lutzen, who became the group’s president in 2017 and is a former state representative, said he’s been a proponent of “good government” and “free markets” since he was a legislator.
LUTZEN: ‘I was really happy’ after state legislature shutdown LUTZELL: I was really pleased to get the press to back off the shutdown, he added.
“The people of Texas want the press and we know the press wants the people.
The problem is the press does not want to go with them.”
In recent years, Texas has become a battleground for the national media, which has expanded rapidly in the state.
In 2018, the Associated Press, which operates in the United States, reported a 4.5% increase in digital ad revenue compared with 2016, with more than $1 billion spent on digital media in Texas in the second quarter of 2018.
“We’re seeing more and more news and news organizations starting to take notice,” said Tom Vilsack, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who also chairs the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“That means that in a market that is shrinking, it makes sense for those organizations to invest in Texas.”
In March, the Texas Association of Business said that in 2018, media consolidation was the No. 1 cause of economic losses in Texas — the second-leading reason behind it after state government shutdowns.
The Associated Press reported that the Texas media was among the states with the most consolidation in the U.S. in 2018.
In a recent report from the Austin American-Statesman, Texas News Network, Texas ranked last in terms of digital ad sales in the nation.
The company’s report said that as of January 2018, there were about 2.2 million ads in Texas on YouTube and 2.5 million in Facebook.
Lutter said he was pleased to see news organizations take notice and begin to expand their reach.
“At the end of the day, we’re a news company,” he told The Wall St. Journal.