The Independent Record (often abbreviated to IR) is a daily newspaper printed and distributed in Helena, Montana. It has a daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 14,000, according to the September 30, 2005, Audit Bureau of Circulations Publisher Statement. The newspaper is part of the Lee Enterprises group, which owns 48 newspapers in 23 states.
The roots of the IR lie in two newspapers founded in 1867, the weekly Independent of Deer Lodge and the daily Herald of Helena. The Independent soon moved to Helena and began daily publication in 1874. The Herald later merged with the Montana Daily Record, which was founded in 1900. The new publication was renamed the Montana Herald-Record. And in 1943, another merger followed: this time with the Independent, to become the Independent Record.
After over thirty years of ownership by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, the IR was sold to Lee Enterprises in 1959. The IR converted from hot metal to phototype in 1973, and in 1975 installed one of the first newsroom computer systems. In the summer of 2002, a new press plant was opened and housed in a new 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) printing and distribution center.
The IR is known for its Friday editorial: "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down," in which it gives its stamp of either approval or disapproval on both local, national, or global events.
- Publisher: Tyler Miller
- Editor: Greg Lemon
- Sales Manager: Stephanie Bull
- Classified Ad Manager: Lynn Hencley
- Circulation Director: Steve Biere
- Operations Manager: Anita Fasbender
- Controller: Lynn Lloyd