January 5, 2021

For Immediate Release


Jillian Susi

- [email protected]

States Newsroom Launches Daily Montanan; Kicks Off 2021 Expansion

Seasoned Journalists to Fill Critical Gap in Montana News Coverage

Helena, MT – Today, States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets announced the launch of the Daily Montanan, the organization’s 20th newsroom and first outlet launch in 2021. 

“After 2020, a year that was especially hard on local newsrooms due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are thankful and excited that we can continue to provide quality, nonpartisan local news to our readers” said Chris Fitzsimon, Director and Publisher of States Newsroom. “The staff in Montana are some of the best and we know they will serve the state well.”

Despite the demand for journalism amid the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 on local newsrooms has been devastating. Hundreds of newspapers have laid off staff or closed entirely, according to Poynter, and experts expect more closures to come. States Newsroom outlets like the Daily Montanan are able to step in and close the gap in local coverage. 

“My colleagues and I are thrilled to launch the Daily Montanan,”  said Darrell Ehrlick, editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan. “Too many stories are going underreported or just unreported, and we are going to fill that gap while providing high-quality, non-partisan reporting on the crucial issues of our time.”

Ehrlick comes to States Newsroom after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him all over the country. Ehrlick has won a number of prestigious reporting awards, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ highest media honor, three Lee Enterprises President’s Awards, and statewide awards for his commentary. 

Ehrlick will be joined by veteran reporters Keila Szpaller, former city editor of the Missoulian; Keith Schubert, alumni of the Asbury Park Press, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; and Arren Kimbel-Sannit, an Arizona-bred journalist who previously worked for the Dallas Morning News and POLITICO. 

States Newsroom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is funded exclusively by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.  

Other States Newsrooms affiliates and partners are: 

Arizona Mirror – 
Colorado Newsline – 
Florida Phoenix – 
Georgia Recorder –
Iowa Capital Dispatch – 
Kansas Reflector  – 
Louisiana Illuminator –
Maine Beacon – 
Maryland Matters – 
Michigan Advance –
Minnesota Reformer – 
Missouri Independent – 
Nevada Current – 
NC Policy Watch – 
Ohio Capital Journal – 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star – 
Tennessee Lookout – 
Virginia Mercury – 
Wisconsin Examiner –