Valley Publication Sold, Pinal News Chain Grows

By Matt Lewis 

TUCSON, ARIZ. – The pool of media owners and entrepreneurs just got a little smaller. An East-Valley area publication, San Tan Valley Today, has transferred ownership recently. A sale, or merger, has combined Today Publications, the owner of San Tan Valley Today, and the Carnes family, owners of Copper Area News Publishing Company. The alternative news monthly print product and daily online website was sold by owner Stacy Deprey-Purper and others invested in the venture. The start-up publishing company was designed to cover an under-served area of San Tan Valley, an unincorporated area that lies smack dab on the dividing line between Pinal and Maricopa Counties.

The late-night comedians need look no further than Arizona, once again. The media down-sizing means the expansion of an miniature media empire. While this transfusion is not the end of good journalism in the state, it could mean that perspectives from the fourth-estate will become even more limited. The Grand Canyon state has already taken some heat in the past for their lack of diverse political and cultural opinions of the ruling powers that be. The Republicans and Tea Party will have the last laugh when only two family publications remain to cover much of Pinal County, and also a portion of Maricopa. These outfits are more easily manipulated, they typically have smaller staffs, and they become complacent since they have a majority stake within their industry. These companies have limited – if any – competition. Only working as hard as they need to stay solvent, these companies are not firing on all cylinders, as I believe they should. The level of solvency is not longer determined by subscribers. Advertisers largely control these “news” operations, and the stories they run. These same “advertisers” often are run by the governing party (parties). The balance in coverage may suffer as a result. I am not stating their reporting will; nor am I accusing the Carnes family of falling prey to the pitfalls I listed above – I am merely pointing out an observation as a media insider. In the spirit of full disclosure, I used to be an intern for a Carnes-family newspaper, the San Manuel Miner. My experience was nothing but amicable and professional with these individuals and the chain of newspapers they ran.

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3 comments on “Valley Publication Sold, Pinal News Chain Grows

  1. While we are not perfect, we do make every effort to cover the news in a fair and balanced way. The newspaper business, like many today, is a difficult one with serious financial challenges. Matt’s time with our organization was great as he is a fantastic writer. I certainly don’t feel we are “not firing on all cylinders” given the resources we have to available to us, however, I am always seeking ways we can do better to serve our communities with responsible journalism.

    • Mr. Carnes, please know this is not an implication of your company or how you personally conduct business. I should have stated my point more clearly. What I meant to express was that there are fewer “voices” so Arizona media as a whole is not firing on all cylinders. Also, not that this is my personal reflection and in no way represents the views of The Gumption, its staff or anyone else. I dearly value family-owned-and-operated news outfits. My first job out of college was with the Kramer family covering news for Casa Grande and Pinal County. I sincerely apologize for any harm this may have done. We at The Gumption can assure you that there was no malice intended, even if some was felt. In fact, I hope we can collaborate together on future projects to give both our organizations a stronger voice for the respective areas we cover. My vision is that we not view each other as rivals vying for the same advertising or subscribers, but rather part of a great news team serving Arizona. When the situation warrants our staffs hopefully can collaborate.

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