Mike Dennison Back to Reporting, at MTN


I had heard this rumor before I left on the trip, but didn’t want to spoil the good news that Mike Dennison is back to reporting about politics, taking over as the new chief political reporter for the Montana Television Network. While I admit I don’t have much interest in TV news generally, I’m definitely excited to learn that Mike will be, in addition to appearing on TV, writing for the MTN web site. It’s great news that we’ll be able to look forward to some more of the in-depth work Dennison provided for the Lee Papers before they decided to invest more in people who make slideshows for their web site.

It seems the decision to abandon news reporting hasn’t had the effect Lee wanted on its chain as its stock continues to plummet, reaching a low of $2.05/share today. That’s a steep decline from a value of $49/share back in 2004, and no doubt the kind of news that will lead to another round of bonuses for the corporation’s leadership.


Dennison leaving, and then being hired by MTN is another sign that our local papers are dying in front of us. It might save in the short-term to keep cutting the newsrooms to the bone, but pretty soon there won’t be any value left at all in these papers, as readers can likely get the news, better, faster, and more accurately elsewhere, from blogs and places like MTN. For a world that has always sneered a bit at both online and TV media, it has to be hard to accept that print is being eclipsed by both.

Of course they’ll always have the slideshows.

Congratulations to Mike—and we all look forward to your work appearing soon.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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Pete Talbot

Great to hear that Mike’s back at it but television news is not known for its analysis, in-depth reporting or investigative journalism. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the TV format (or maybe the TV format will adapt to him?). Also, government visuals aren’t the most exciting and TV is a visual medium, so … anyway, James Conner at Flathead Memo has a story up on this with an announcement from Mike:


You might have to scroll down a bit to get to it, though.

James Conner
James Conner

In addition to writing for broadcast and serving as a talking head for analysis, he’ll be writing for the station’s website. The latter provides an opportunity for publishing stories longer than the broadcast allows.

Pete Talbot

Indeed, but I wonder if website visits will justify longer, in-depth reports? Maybe his presence will drive more traffic. Heck, I might even start visiting the MTN website.

Big Swede

Montana is saved. Mike’s back.

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