Expanding its presence in the Tucson community, 10/13 Communications has recently acquired several community newspapers that will complement the already-strong Explorer Newspaper on the northwest side.
Earlier this month, 10/13 Communications, the parent company of Arizona Local Media, and now Tucson Local Media (TLM), announced the purchase of Catalina Foothills News, Desert Times and the Marana Weekly, which were owned by Tucson West Publishing.
On April 17, growing the newly-created TLM brand, 10/13 Communications announced the pending purchase of the Tucson Weekly and Inside Tucson Business from Wick Communications.
With the newly-acquired publications, Ryan Kedzierski, Explorer publisher, said the company’s motto of reporting hyper-local news is going to stay in place as they move forward with plans for Catalina Foothills, the Desert Times and reintroducing the Marana Weekly.
“Community newspapers remain strong because we focus on local events,” said Kedzierski. “We cover the local school districts, town councils and report on what the local chamber is doing. It’s community newspapers that remain important to all the communities that make up the Tucson region.”
For now, Catalina Foothills and the Desert Times will remain monthly publications.
In Marana, Kedzierski, who will assume the role as publisher of all Tucson properties, said he is excited to build on the good reputation the Marana Weekly has already established.
Marana’s community newspaper had gone to a monthly format under Tucson West Publishing. However, Kedzierski said it will return to a weekly starting on April 30 as a product of The Explorer.
Marana Mayor Ed Honea said he’s excited about the changes.
“I’m excited that Marana will go back to a weekly format,” he said. “The Explorer has done a great job in producing community news. This speaks well for The Explorer and it speaks well for (10/13 Communications). I know this will be good for Marana.”
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said increased coverage of local issues is important to the region.
“We’re a big county with 9,000 square miles, and more than a million people,” he said. “Regional papers such as these allow us to connect with citizens of the county in their local environments. It allows us to reach these citizens to communicate issues they need to know about.”
Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath said having one company take over multiple community newspapers may be the missing link the region has needed.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to have a common message sent out to the entire region,” he said. “Have the opportunity to create a network of communication where residents can rely on the same information and tie this entire region together. If local community newspapers can create that general base of knowledge, such as Pima County, then we have a better understanding of how we can work and create a stronger Tucson region. It’s vitally important to focus on all of the region. Metro Tucson is Pima County.”
Hiremath said he is confident in the direction TLM is taking because of the growth he has seen in The Explorer over the last two years.
“Community newspapers like The Explorer let citizens know what they need to know is happening right here in their own community,” he said.
Mayor Honea said it’s community newspapers that are important to a region like Tucson.
“Big newspapers are definitely struggling – really we have everything on the internet, radio and television,” he said. “But, the local paper is all about local news. They cover the schools, the town councils, the local chamber and even a lot of our clubs and organizations. It’s those stories that touch us more than what you see in a large paper.”
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