Greetings, Sandoval County!

You may be wondering, “Who’s this new guy, Matt Hollinshead?” after seeing my byline in the Rio Rancho Observer.

I’m that new guy.

After spending my first eight years in sports journalism, including my most recent stop at the Farmington Daily Times, the COVID-19 pandemic showed me how impactful business reporting is. Dating back to July 2020, I took it upon myself to give business reporting a shot as I waited for New Mexico sports to start back up again.

I witnessed the toll the pandemic took on local businesses, plus steps economic development entities took to revive their cities and come out of the pandemic on a more promising note.
Going from sports to business in Farmington, I had to adjust and learn a totally new beat, fast.

Rio Rancho Observer reporter Matt Hollinshead

I came to embrace it, quickly understanding the universal interest in livelihoods and their role in the community. I also embraced talking to city and county leaders about ways they’re trying to improve the outlook of their communities.

I wanted to continue that, and the opportunity to work and reside in the greater Albuquerque area — a place I always enjoyed visiting over the years — came calling.

I’m a city boy myself, growing up just outside Denver, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunities and perks that come with being in a larger metropolitan area.

It was far from an easy decision to continue my journalism career in an area outside of sports, but coming to the Observer was the right decision at this particular time for my career and my life outside of work. I also eyed a chance to prove I’m more than just a “sports guy.”

And similar to transitioning from the sports beat to the business beat, I felt I’d benefit from garnering new experience on the county government beat, learning about ways certain policy-making impacts the area and become an even more well-rounded journalist.

Although the Observer’s a weekly, I appreciate that it has a solid daily web presence — given that much of my background is geared toward generating content that’d appeal to both online and print readers. And I will continue to track down stories like I would at a daily, because it’s imperative I keep you in the loop with the latest trends happening in and around your backyard.

Heck, I started generating story ideas in the month prior to my arrival. I eagerly await each and every time I can expand a growing list of stories to cover.

If you have any story ideas pertaining to a new business, whether it’s a mom-and-pop store or a rad new startup tech company, please stop by the Rio Rancho Observer office to chat with me about how it’ll help provide that extra economic jolt to Sandoval County.

Let’s get to it!