Independent acquires four West Valley newspapers

Four West Valley newspapers – the Daily News-Sun, Glendale Today, Peoria Today, Surprise Today – have been purchased by Independent Newsmedia Inc., which also publishes weeklies in a number of other communities around the Valley. Included in the purchase from 1013 Communications is the YourWestValley.com website.

“We are so excited to welcome these products and the talented people who produce them to our family,” said Independent’s President and CEO Ed Dulin, adding that the company hopes to offer jobs to virtually all of the staff members of the newspapers being acquired.  “We see this as an opportunity to do an even better job of fulfilling our mission of community service, as well as turning more readers and advertisers into raving fans.”

The acquisition takes effect July 1. It will give INI, publisher of eight community weekly newspapers throughout the Valley of the Sun – including four in the West Valley – the single largest circulation in the West Valley market in Arizona. The company also owns and operates community news websites, the monthly Sun Life Magazine and a commercial printing plant.

Charlene Bisson, already publisher of INI’s other West Valley newspapers, will also serve as publisher of the four newspapers being acquired. Kristy Kollman, who has been 1013’s publisher in the West Valley, will become publisher of the Independents in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and the East Valley. Bret McKeand, who has been INI’s publisher in the north and east Valley, will become Arizona group senior vice president/news quality for the expanding company, which will now reach more than 209,000 households across the Valley.

“This acquisition will enhance our brand, build our reputation and put us in a position to serve the West Valley like no other news organization We are committed to journalism and we are passionate about that mission,” Ms. Bisson said.

INI pays taxes like any other for-profit company, but is 100 percent owned by a nonprofit journalistic trust that allows all after-tax profits to be reinvested in the company’s community service mission. The company also publishes community newspapers and websites in Delaware, Florida and Maryland.

The Daily News-Sun has a long history in the West Valley, first emerging as two mimeographed pages in Youngtown in 1956 and eventually becoming the only local daily newspaper to serve the West Valley suburbs of metropolitan Phoenix. A complete timeline can be found at www.yourwestvalley.com/services/about_us/.

1013 Communications will continue to own a direct marketing magazine, Clipper Marketplace, and six publications in Tucson – the Explorer, Tucson Weekly, Inside Tucson Business, Marana News, Foothills News and Desert Times.

“This is a great strategic move for the West Valley,” said Randy Miller, directing manager for 1013 Communications. “Uniting these newspapers with the Independent’s publications will greatly improve the reach and strength of the group as a whole.”

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