Today marks two months since 1013 Communications purchased the East Valley Tribune.
As publisher of the Tribune and president of 1013 Communications, I can tell you we’ve been pretty busy during that time. I can also tell you we plan on staying that way for many months and years to come.
As we complete the review of our first round of financial statements, it’s great to see that our team is making huge strides and most importantly that this newspaper is out of red ink. It is amazing how much the people here have done in such a short time to make this incredible turnaround. But the best part is that everyone on our team wants and expects to do more. Considering what our staff, readers and advertisers have been through over the past eight months — when the previous ownership announced it might shut down the newspaper — it’s hard to over-state what a significant accomplishment this is.
How could we make such a stark financial transition in such a short time? It was the culmination of many things. We consolidated production and financial operations, reduced our expenses to be more in line with our revenue and dramatically changed the way we do business. These changes have caused our team to work differently and be more reliant on each other. It’s a nice change and a positive reflection of the future of our operation as we continue to evolve.
But what about the future? While it’s too early to declare any kind of victory, we believe we are on the right track. We plan to be more involved in the communities we serve and work harder to be a valuable community partner. And we will continue to focus on what we do best: provide local news and advertising that is relevant to our readers.
That’s important to us in order to remain a viable business. And it’s important to readers.
I got involved with the Tribune because I have been a newspaper man for many years. Maybe I am a traditionalist but I believe newspapers are a vital part of the communities they serve — even at a time when information is readily available at the push of a button, a turn of the dial or the click of a mouse.
Newspapers, more than any other media, are the watchdogs of society and the voice of reason. They inform readers about news in their back yard and abroad. They broaden our outlooks and help shape our views. They bridge the gap between government and the people, helping each better understand the other.
As a traditionalist, I respect the history of The Tribune, which has been in existence since 1891, and the part it has played in the East Valley’s growth. Former publisher Chuck Wahlheim first coined the term “East Valley” about three decades ago, and the East Valley Tribune has been carving out its niche ever since.
If I sound proud of this newspaper it’s because I am. It has a rich heritage and a wonderful team of people who do great things to provide value for our readers and advertisers.
What’s not to be proud of? The Tribune has been named Arizona’s Newspaper of the Year for six straight years by the Arizona Newspaper Association; we won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for our series examining Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s controversial immigration sweeps; and our “Rigged Privilege” investigation on private school tuition tax credits won several national awards.
But it’s not about winning awards. It’s about being a voice in the community.
And, as a stable, viable business in the East Valley, ours will be heard for a long time to come.