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The January 27, 2008 front page of
The Austin American Statesman
(as the Democratic Statesman)
|Headquarters||305 South Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704
The Austin American-Statesman is the major daily newspaper for Austin, the capital city of Texas. It is owned by Cox Enterprises. The newspaper places focus on issues affecting Austin and the Central Texas region.
The Austin American-Statesman competes with the Austin Chronicle, an alternative weekly. The paper tends to print Associated Press, New York Times, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times international and national news, but has strong Central Texas coverage, especially in political reporting. The Statesman benefits from the culture and writing heritage of Austin. It extensively covers the music scene, especially the annual South by Southwest Music Festival. The newspaper co-sponsors various events around Austin such as the Capital 10K foot race and the Season for Caring charity campaign.
The Statesman's news website is Statesman.com and its entertainment site is Austin360.com. It also publishes a weekly Spanish-language newspaper, ¡ahora sí! (ahorasi.com). Additionally, the Statesman partners with the St. Petersburg Times with PolitiFact Texas, a site that uncovers the truth in issues that are relevant to Texas and the Austin area.
In 2009, the Austin American-Statesman ranked 60th in circulation among daily newspapers, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Figures from Scarborough Research show the Statesman — in print and online — reaches 68% of Central Texans in an average week.
Following a national trend among daily newspapers, the Statesman has seen circulation declines in recent years. Austin is one of America's most Internet-connected cities, though not ranked in the 25 largest "connected" cities, and, in a related trend, the Statesman's daily circulation ranks among those cities seeing drops of 5% or more in recent reports. As compared to a U.S. national decline of 2.1%, the Statesman's daily circulation in the most recent six-month reporting period fell 5.6% to 173,527. Its Sunday circulation fell 5.5% to 215,984. Austin is the 15th largest city (and the 36th largest metropolitan area) in the U.S.
The Statesman endorsed George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, and Republican governor Rick Perry along with every other Republican incumbent in 2006. In the 2008 presidential election, however, the paper endorsed Barack Obama. The Statesman also provides coverage of the Libertarian Party and Green Party matters.
Founded as the triweekly Democratic Statesman in 1871, the newspaper was originally allied with the state Democratic party during Reconstruction. It began daily publication as a morning paper in 1873. After absorbing the Austin Tribune in 1914, it published as the afternoon Austin Statesman and Tribune, then became an evening paper and changed its name to the Austin Evening Statesman in 1916.
A rival paper, the morning Austin American, began in 1914. Waco-based newspapermen Charles E. Marsh and E.S. Fentress bought the American in 1919 and the Evening Statesman in 1924. Merged under one company, the morning and evening papers published separately during the week and combined for a Sunday Austin American Statesman edition. The company continued separate titles until 1973, when all products became the American-Statesman, with four editions daily.
Cox Enterprises acquired the Statesman when it bought the Waco newspaper company in 1976. In 1987, the Statesman moved to morning-only publication.  In 2008, Cox put the Statesman up for sale with most of its other newspaper holdings in order to pay down debt. A year later, the company pulled the paper off the market, citing a lack of suitable offers.
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