SPEAKER

 
Our speaker was Bret McKeand, Arizona President of the Independent newspapers. Bret lives in Apache Junction. He is the incoming president of the Rotary club of Peoria, AZ.
 
 
Bret has been with the company for 33 years.  He started out as a reporter.  The Independent is published as a community-specific paper for AJ/GC, Mesa, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek/San Tan Valley, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise and Peoria.  Their total distribution is around 250,000 with 15 separate publications. The company also publishes the Wall Street Journal for metro residents.
There is still a strong market for local news that doesn't make it into other media.  These include local events, schools, local government, sports, clubs and organizations, etc.  People also like the Independent ads for finding places to eat, services, coupons and sales.  People also find it easy to get their name and picture or their organization's activities in the paper - lots of scrapbook articles for Moms and Dads.  The Independent papers do not have reviews or comics but they do have an opinions page for people to exercise their First Amendment rights. All the Independent papers are paid for by advertising so are free to the public.  There is also a website for each paper. 
The papers that are in trouble financially are big city dailies with high overhead costs. The internet is the biggest competitor for these papers because it is so much faster and more comprehensive.  Local papers are not affected to the same extent. 
Bret said Rotary news is always welcome including speaker summaries and new members..