The East Valley Tribune will be making an even bigger “investment in our communities” nearly one year after the newspaper was purchased by Randy Miller and partners.
Miller, the Tribune’s president and publisher, announced this week that the paper will be increasing its Sunday circulation by 50,000 beginning in March, bringing the total distribution to 150,000 in the East Valley.
“We’ll have over 100,000 new people reading the Tribune every week,” said Miller, noting that the number of readers is typically twice that of a newspaper’s circulation. “It’s really a huge jump for us. That will be a tremendous increase on the reach we have in our communities and for our advertisers.
“I can’t think of another newspaper in the industry that is doing this right now. Everybody else is tucking their head and scaling back. This increase gives us a much bigger presence and demonstrates our continued investment in our communities.”
Much of the Sunday circulation increase will occur inside the geographic boundaries of Loop 202 — in particular the cities of Mesa and Tempe. Additional papers will also be distributed in Gilbert, Chandler and Ahwatukee.
“The Tribune had moved away from its heritage in Mesa and Tempe,” said Miller, who took ownership of the Tribune on March 23, 2010. “But we’re going back.”
The circulation gains in Ahwatukee will be a joint venture between the Tribune and its sister company, the Ahwatukee Foothills News, which doesn’t currently publish on Sundays.
“I am excited to hear that,” Paula Casey, executive director of the Arizona Newspaper Association, said of the expansion. “It’s always good news to hear newspapers aren’t cutting back.”
The circulation increase is part of several other changes the Tribune is undergoing.
To coincide with the jump in circulation, the Tribune will be making significant content and design improvements in both the newspaper and website that are geared toward making the news more interactive and more focused on readers and what they are talking about.
In addition, the Tribune will complete the move of its office locations by the end of March. The circulation operations were moved this month to the Tribune’s offices in Chandler. Press operations are already located in Sun City. And editorial and advertising operations will be moving their main office to Fountainhead Corporate Park in Tempe by the end of March.
The newspaper’s current building in Mesa was not part of the sale of the Tribune, but the company will continue to maintain an office location in Mesa after the current lease expires.
“All these things together signify some dramatic changes with the Tribune and our position in the community,” Miller said. “We’re excited about it.”