The Independent has a new sister newspaper in Reno, Nevada, the Reno News & Review.
The first non-college newspaper byline I ever had was in the Reno News & Review, during a summer internship in 1996; at that point, the RN&R was just a little more than a year old. My second stint at the RN&R came a year and a half or so later. After I graduated from college, I worked for The Associated Press’ San Francisco bureau for five months, before deciding to move back to Reno to deal with personal and family matters. The RN&R had just hired a new staff writer who was unable to start for about two months, so I filled the gap as a temp staff writer before moving on to a small daily newspaper in Sparks, Nev.
My third stint came about a year and a half later, when I became the RN&R’s news editor. Not quite six months later, the editor departed, and the owner offered me the job. I accepted—and became the editor of my hometown weekly a few weeks shy of my 25th birthday.
In the scary craziness that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, I moved to Las Vegas and went to work for Las Vegas CityLife as a political reporter and news editor. A little more than a year later, I was offered the job of editor at CityLife’s sister newspaper, the Tucson Weekly. I spent 10 years there—before my now-husband and I decided to move to Palm Springs to start the Independent. That happened little more than nine years ago.
Through the years, I kept in touch with the RN&R. My writing would show up in the newspaper from time to time. I stayed in contact the owners, Jeff von Kaenel and Deborah Redmond; I even served with Jeff on a board for a couple of years.
Then came March 2020. The RN&R, like a lot of newspapers, suspended its print edition; it’s struggled along online ever since.
This brings us to last April, when my husband I went to Reno to visit our parents for the first time since the pandemic arrived. It seemed like every friend we saw asked me a variation of the question: “Hey, do you know if the Reno News & Review is ever coming back?”
This led me to email Jeff and Deborah, and ask if there was anything I could to help out the RN&R. Jeff and Deborah replied—and that started off a series of conversations that culminated Coachella Valley Independent LLC becoming the RN&R’s owner as of Jan. 31.
Rest assured: As I start my fourth stint with the Reno News & Review, nothing will change with the Independent. I’ll still be here as the editor and publisher. I may be a little more frazzled than normal, and I’ll be spending more time in Reno (not a bad thing, since my mom and my husband’s dad live there)—but Palm Springs is home, and I love the Independent more than ever.
Note: This is the editor’s note that appeared in the March 2022 print edition. Much of this column was originally published online in the Jan. 31 Indy Digest.