Western News&Info, Inc.

Corporate Headquarters:

1748 S. Arizona Avenue
Yuma, Arizona 85364
(928) 783-3311
fax: (928) 783-3313

Company History

Western News & Info, Inc.® has a long history in the business of printing and publishing. Western News & Info, Inc.®,a holding company, was established in January, 1978. The Soldwedel family owns the voting stock in the privately-held company.

Prior to 1978, the company had its beginning in the mid-1930s when Mr. Foy F. McNaughton purchased The Yuma Daily Sun. In 1953, after Foy's daughter, Luda, married Don Soldwedel, the couple moved to Yuma to run the McNaughton's 50% interest in the Yuma newspaper.

Combining efforts through the years, the McNaughtons and Soldwedels purchased or started additional newspaper properties. In the 1960s the Prescott Courier, Casa Grande Dispatch, Lake Havasu City Herald and partial interests in the Mohave (Kingman) Miner were purchased.

In the 1970s, the Mohave Valley News in Bullhead City, the Verde Independent in Cottonwood and the Camp Verde Bugle also were purchased.

After the holding company was formed and into the early 1980s, the Lake Powell Chronicle, Navajo-Hopi Observer, Foothills Sentinel in Cave Creek, the Palo Verde Valley Times in Blythe, California, the Quartzsite Times in Quartzsite, Arizona, the Laughlin Gambler and Douglas Dispatch were added. The Dispatch and Chronicle were later sold.

The Soldwedels also were involved in commercial printing and television operations in conjunction with newspaper publishing during this time period.

In 1984, the Soldwedels sold all of their Yuma interests in the Yuma Daily Sun, Foothills News and Sun Television to Cox Newspapers. Since 1985, Western News&Info, Inc.® has entered the outdoor advertising and sign business. The company also added the Golden Valley Enterprise, the Weekender, the Chino Valley Review and the Prescott Valley Tribune to its list of newspaper properties since 1985.

In 1991, Western News&Info, Inc.® sold its three newspapers in Bullhead City and Laughlin and purchased the Kingman Booster which became the Kingman Prospector. Williams Grand Canyon News and Canyon Shopper were added, and in 1995, Today's News Herald and Parker Pioneer were also added in partnership with Wick Communications.

As of the end of 1995, Western News & Info, Inc.® boasted 15 newspapers, a sign advertising company, a variety of shoppers and real estate guides, and three commercial printing businesses with more than 300 employees.

In January of 1997 Western News&Info Inc.® invested in a 50% ownership of radio stations Outlaw Country 1400 AM and Z-93. MonsterMedia, LLC was our partner in this radio venture. In May 2014, Western sold it's 50% ownership to the MonsterMedia partner, Keith Lewis. The KCYK (frequency: AM 1400) and KLJZ Z-93 (frequency: FM 93.1) radio stations are located in Yuma, Arizona.

In 1998, Western News&Info, Inc.® expanded its print media business throughout Northern Arizona with the addition of Community Directory phone books covering Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Cottonwood and Sedona.

In April 2007, Western News&Info, Inc.® purchased the advertisement shopper Ad-King in Cottonwood. Later the same year, WNI closed the Winslow Mail & Reminder. Western News&info, Inc.'s® previous Prescott-area advertisement shopper Sun Shopper was closed in 2010 and a second edition of the Ad-King was created exclusively for the Quad-Cities.

In August of 2010, Western News&info, Inc.® acquired Pop Rocket, an alternative publication showcasing arts & entertainment in the Prescott area. In December 2013 Pop Rocket was suspended.

In 2011, Prescott Newspapers, Inc. (PNI) bought the franchise for the Grand Canyon Map operated out of the Williams/Grand Canyon News operations. In 2012 the company bought the franchise for the Sedona Map which is operated out of Verde Valley Newspapers. The same year Prescott Newspapers, Inc. started Prescott map franchise.

Western News&info, Inc.'s® corporate offices are located in Yuma, Arizona.

Corporate Profiles

Donald N. Soldwedel
WNI Board Chairman,
1924-2008

Joseph Edward Soldwedel
President and CEO

Blake Dewitt
Senior Vice President

Kit Atwell
Executive Vice President

Kelly Soldwedel Thornhill
Associate Vice President

Publisher/CEO,
Prescott Newspapers, Inc.

Brett Soldwedel
Associate Vice President

Production Director,
Prescott Newspapers, Inc.

DJ Johnson
Vice President - Human Resources

Rebecca Munger
Vice President - Finance

Richard Haddad
News Content Director

Jack Perkins
Audience Development Director

Tim Chaulk
Digital Advertising Sales Manager

Joe Thornhill
Digital Media Manager

Daniel Coolbaugh
IT Director

Soldwedel family timeline

Here are the highlights of the family’s start-ups and acquisitions since 1950: