The Niagara Falls Reporter (or "NFR") is a weekly newspaper hosted in Niagara Falls, New York. It was founded on June 28, 2000 by journalist Mike Hudson. The newspaper is currently owned by Frank R. Parlato, Jr., who additionally serves as one of the newspaper's contributors. The paper has been called "hard hitting," whose investigative stories focus on public corruption, politics, and local news.
The Niagara Falls Reporter was launched on June 28, 2000, by veteran journalist Mike Hudson, who had previously worked for newspapers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York City. Hudson had also previously been a reporter for the Niagara Gazette and was the lead singer of Cleveland punk band The Pagans. He died on October 27, 2017.
Since its launch, the paper's reporting on a wide variety of topics has been cited or linked to by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, along with magazines like Editor & Publisher and web outlets including Salon''.
The Reporter played a central role in the Laborers Local 91 story, in which the entire leadership of the Niagara Falls union pleaded or were found guilty on numerous federal charges of extortion and racketeering. The case resulted in Hudson being the only journalist subpoenaed to testify in the trials. The paper also uncovered evidence that began a federal investigation and subsequent indictment of former Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello on charges of public corruption.
The Reporter published a series of articles from late 2008 through 2010 on the twin leases that the Maid of the Mist boat tour company had with the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) in both Ontario and New York. The Reporter was the first paper to publish the terms of the leases and to report that the NPC secretly reduced the rent while excluding other bidders. In late 2009, the minister of tourism for the province of Ontario ordered the Maid of the Mist's lease to be offered to external bidders for the first time in the history of Niagara Parks.
In 2011, the city council of Niagara Falls voted to endorse the Niagara Falls Reporter as the council's weekly newspaper for publishing its public announcements as well as any other matters the council wishes to be printed or published.
Shortly after Frank Parlato became the owner of the Niagara Falls Reporter in 2012, volunteer movie critic, Michael Calleri, quit the publication over a dispute with Parlato about film review coverage. In an email between Parlato and Calleri, released by Calleri, Parlato stated "I don't want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta. where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females. i believe in manliness." Parlato published an editorial on the Niagara Falls Reporter website in response. He said that he gave Calleri an option to write about local entertainment or to write reviews of movies that had an inspiring influence on adolescents. In an article later published in the Toronto Star, Parlato was quoted as saying, "It is the right of Hollywood to market promiscuous sex, violence and profanity, not only to adults but to adolescents. I operate a small newspaper in Niagara Falls and it is my right not to review Hollywood movies." The controversy made headlines on blogs and in newspapers across the U.S. and was discussed on an episode of CBS This Morning that featured Calleri as a guest.
In 2015, Parlato become part owner and editor-in-chief of the Artvoice, a weekly publication which focuses on culture, art, and local news stories in the Buffalo, New York area. Parlato also publishes the Front Page and the South Buffalo News, both weekly newspapers.
In 2015, a federal grand jury charged Frank R. Parlato, Jr., 60, and Chitra Selvaraj, 41, on a 19-count indictment with a conspiracy to defraud the United States and certain members of the public, to obstruct the function of the Internal Revenue Service, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering, and corrupt interference with the administration of the IRS laws. . Prior to his indictment, Parlato began writing about his own case, stating "I intend to be as transparent in writing what happens during this ongoing process as I demand others to be when I cover their stories." Upon arraignment, the United States Attorney sought a "gag order" upon Parlato's publications in order to stop Parlato from writing about his own case in the Niagara Falls Reporter and Artvoice; Federal Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy rejected the gag order application, noting “We do have a First Amendment.”