Tribune evolving

The new owners of the Sparks Tribune seem to be curbing its columnists to make the newspaper into a conservative organ.

Longtime Trib columnist Andrew Barbano's column has been appearing in its pages less frequently, though he confirms he has been sending it in with the same frequency.

The 105-year-old newspaper was purchased last month by Battle Born Media of Ely, which also owns newspapers in Pioche, Eureka, Hawthorne and Ely.

Right wing Las Vegas columnists like Sherman Frederick (an exec in Battle Born) and Tom Mitchell have been added to the Tribune editorial page columns. One Barbano column, a spicy but humorous piece on Clark County Assemblymember Michelle Fiore, failed to appear in the Trib but can be read on Barbano's website at So far, the columns of Jake Highton—another longtime Trib columnist—have appeared on schedule, prompting speculation that he will be the “house liberal.”

Publisher Cindy Mikkelson—a fixture at the paper for many years—and editor Dan Eckles left the Tribune in the wake of the sale.