Many of our longtime readers — including those who still call us The Warner Wrangler — recall the days of our modest launch in 1990, when friends and family helped deliver those first editions to a few hundred driveways bordering Warner Road in Tempe.
As the years went by, we expanded both north and south, adding new Tempe and West Chandler neighborhoods and delivering to a readership that had grown to what we calculated was in the range of 45,000, where it has remained ever since.
In the 27 years since our birth as an entirely neighborhood-focused newspaper, other publications have come along, most presuming to cover Tempe and environs in their entirety. Those, however, turned out to be short-lived endeavors that apparently didn’t reach profitability in the prescribed time frame, and so the notion of one publication being “Tempe’s (or West Chandler’s) only newspaper” never really caught hold. (Apologies, of course, to the Tempe Daily News, which for many years actually was “Tempe’s only newspaper” until its demise in 1980, leaving a legacy of exceptional local coverage spanning almost 100 years. The Chandler Arizonan, which served West Chandler, was sold in the late 1970s).
So fast forward to what has emerged as an increasingly held view that Wrangler News, that little maverick startup that began landing on a few driveways 25-plus years ago, holds the image, if not altogether the exact reality, of being “Tempe’s only newspaper.”
Oh, sure, there are others that lay claim to that title and in fact may have offices or news racks or some sort of nominal presence in our so-called Kyrene Corridor communities. But none has stuck so steadfastly to its roots, always upholding the promise of its first edition’s Page One headline:
“A first—news with a neighborhood flavor”—as determinedly as we have.
Now, although that has remained our mantra for all these years, we think it’s time to broaden the reach of Wrangler News—to tell the stories of our schools, our churches, our businesses, our families— to the entirety of our two cities, not just the limited neighborhoods mostly south of the Superstition Freeway.
Starting with our February issues, we will offer a much wider range of Tempe and Chandler availability so that all in our community will be able to share in the same news, photos and feature stories their south Tempe and west Chandler neighbors have been receiving for almost three decades.
Somehow, the idea of being our area’s “only newspaper” sounds pretty good to us. We hope you’ll agree and that you’ll continue to be with us as we expand our composite ranks of 45,000 avid readers to an even larger number. We’ll keep you posted as we move toward that goal.