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Posted Nov 12, 2012, 4:47 pm
After helming the Tucson Weekly for a decade, editor Jimmy Boegle is moving to California to found a news website, the Coachella Valley Independent.
The site, cvindependent.com, is up in what Boegle calls a "very, very beta version."
Together with partner Garrett Dangerfield, Boegle will move to the Palm Springs area in January and pursue the venture full-time.
"The decision to leave the Weekly has been, by far, the toughest professional decision I have ever made," Boegle said in a memo to Weekly staffers Monday.
In a post on the new site, Boegle said he sought backing from Wick Communications, the Tucson-based chain that runs the Weekly, Inside Tucson Business, Green Valley News, and other newspapers around the country. But Boegle and Dangerfield are striking out on their own.
From "Introducing the Coachella Valley Independent," an editor's note on the site:
My plan was to start a print weekly, the Coachella Valley Independent, with a staff of about seven folks—in other words, I wanted to hit the ground running. However, the budgeted first-year financial loss—in the neighborhood of a quarter-million bucks—was unappetizing to the Wick folks, and understandably, they said no, especially since the economy was at that point showing sides of weirdness. Several months later, we’d all begin to realize that weirdness was actually the first manifestations of the Great Recession.
In the years since, I have visited the Coachella Valley several times every year, falling in love with the area a little more each time. During every trip, I’d think of that business plan. And I’d pick up every publication I could find. Some publications—the Desert Star Weekly and then later, the Coachella Valley Weekly—came. Others—like the LGBT-focused The Bottom Line—went. While some of the valley’s publications had their positive moments (as well as not-so-positive ones), I learned some of them were selling editorial articles to advertisers—and not labeling those articles as advertorials. That, combined with the continuing mediocrity of the daily Desert Sun, was disheartening.
As it stands right now, if a Coachella Valley reader wants honest community news coverage, or an unbiased food review, or just good, compelling writing, where can they go?
Enter the Coachella Valley Independent.
Boegle took over the editor's chair at the Weekly in January 2003. Prior to that, he worked at Las Vegas CityLife, the Reno News & Review, and the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune.
To Weekly staffers, Boegle said Monday, "I love this job; I love the paper; I love what we do online; I love what we do in the community. Most of all, I love working with all of you. Wick Communications has treated me and the paper very well in my almost 10 years here in Tucson, and I think the Weekly's future is incredibly bright."
"However, it's time for me to do something else," he said.
The 37-year-old Boegle said he plans to launch a print version of the Independent in the fall. The plan's been in the works for a while, at least in a conceptual way; Boegle first registered the domain name in 2007.
...we’re doing this on a budget that makes the word “shoestring” sound generous.
But we’re going to pull this off. We love good, honest, true, fun journalism, and the positive effect it can have on communities. As we say on the (very, very beta version’s) “about” page: “We believe in true, honest journalism: We want to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted. We want to be a mirror for the entire Coachella Valley. We want to inform, enlighten and entertain.
From one editor to another: Congrats, Jimmy! And best of luck to you; we'll miss ya 'round these parts.
For more, check out John Schuster's post over at the Weekly.