Reviving local news: The resurrection of The Tempe Tribune

Relaunch is good


With the relaunch of The Tempe Tribune in early February of this year, Steve Strickbine, president of Times Media Group, continues his 25-year mission to rescue failing community newspapers, closed family newspapers and blooming news deserts. The Tempe Daily News ceased publication in 2009 after 122 consecutive years of serving the community. The Tempe Tribune delivers to over 20,000 readers every Sunday, and the digital edition emails to over 25,000 readers every Saturday evening.

Times Media Group includes more than 60 news and other publications in the Phoenix and Tucson metro markets and Southern California.

Before becoming a publisher, Strickbine was a successful CPA in Phoenix. The entrepreneurial spirit that motivated him to start an accounting firm also prompted him to launch his first newspaper, Valley Times, a small community newspaper with a 5,000-circulation in North Scottsdale.

“I was doing everything myself: from interviews and writing stories to selling the advertising, working late at the office, going to press the next morning. I realized how much I liked journalism. I liked providing a voice to the businesses in the community,” Strickbine said.

The Tempe Tribune relaunched in February — 15 years after Tempe’s previous local paper closed.

Valley Times generated enough profits to lead to the first acquisitions of other publications in 2010 and subsequent purchases of small newsgroups. Times Media Group also publishes statewide magazines and websites for those publications and owns and operates AZ Integrated Media, a distribution and custom publishing company.

“I’ve also thought the changes in our business are something to embrace. I know much revenue was supplanted by advertising in big tech, but it’s also given the industry many gifts and efficiencies in covering and distributing the news. That’s what I like to champion. I like to tell other publishers to embrace the changes,” Strickbine added.

Paul Maryniak, executive editor, Times Media Group

The pages of Times Media Group’s newspapers and websites must be filled with excellent journalism for them to become the trusted voices for their communities. Veteran journalist and editor Paul Maryniak is the executive editor for the group and oversees coverage of the municipalities in the eastern half of the Phoenix Metro region.

“We are very geo-centric, so we cover the important stories in each city and town. We are both watchdogs on local school and municipal activities, but we also celebrate the people and organizations that make each of our communities unique,” Maryniak said.

Maryniak has had a long career with the Pittsburgh Press and the Philadelphia Daily News as an investigative reporter and later as the metro editor in charge of enterprise reporting at the Daily News. He then moved to Arizona and became the managing editor of the East Valley Tribune. After the Tribune was sold in 2000, Maryniak held several editorial positions at The Arizona Republic for 13 years. After retiring in 2013, he joined Times Media Group in 2016.

The Entertainer Magazine, a statewide publication of Times Media Group

Maryniak has firsthand feedback about the relaunch of The Tempe Tribune. “It’s been very favorably received by both residents and businesses. I live in Tempe and frequently hear from my neighbors about what they liked — and, on occasion, what they didn’t.”

Strickbine is firmly focused on promoting the digital edition of The Tempe Tribune at The e-reader version has a 51% open rate. Times Media Group also hosts several annual events, such as women in business events and senior expos throughout the Phoenix metro area.

“What we’re doing is [working] for a very worthy cause: saving local journalism and bringing news and truth to the communities we serve. It is a challenging space, but if publishers are true to that mission, there is an intrinsic and inherent value that will never change,” Strickbine said.

Bob Sillick has held many senior positions and served a myriad of clients during his 47 years in marketing and advertising. He has been a freelance/contract content researcher, writer, editor and manager since 2010.  He can be reached at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here