SIERRA VISTA — Manuel Coppola is the new publisher of the Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review following several years with the Nogales International, where he will remain publisher.
Wick Communications CEO Francis Wick, former Herald/Review publisher, made the announcement Thursday. Coppola has spent the last four months as the Herald/Review’s interim publisher while a search was conducted for a new publisher following Wick’s promotion.
“I’m proud to have Manuel lead our flagship paper,” Wick said. “He embodies what every good publisher exhibits: curiosity, generosity, and a will to lead.”
The Nogales International has routinely been a standout in the Arizona Newspapers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for its reporting, design, newswriting, photography, editing and advertising, and it is a past recipient of the Inland Press Association’s Best in the Nation award.
“I know he will carry on that tradition here,” Wick said. “Over the coming months, you will note modifications to the Herald/Review as Manuel puts more of his stamp on the organization.”
Coppola was born in Nogales, Ariz., and interned at the International after graduating from Northern Arizona University in 1985, eventually becoming the newspaper’s managing editor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in newspaper editorial journalism with an emphasis in political science.
“I have had some wonderful mentors who instilled how important a newspaper is to both readers and advertisers,” Coppola said. “Newspapers may not define a community, but they serve many times as the sole reflection of what that community is all about and what it has to offer.”
In 1992, he ventured outside the newspaper world and purchased a restaurant that he ran for 14 years. Coppola said that experience provided a “clear perspective of the challenges of small business” and helped him realize “how critical it is to partner with your local newspaper for continued success.”
He returned to the International as managing editor in 2004 and became its publisher the following year.
“Over the years we have seen our industry evolve to the point where even the word ‘newspaper’ sounds archaic,” he said. “We know that nationally the number of print subscribers continues to decline but the need for good journalism and a medium for advertisers to target their local markets has never been greater. In response, we have built up an online and multi-platform presence which in most communities takes the lion’s share of web traffic.”
He said although the Sierra Vista market is larger than the one in Nogales, which publishes its paper twice a week, no matter what the size of a city or publication, a community newspaper must be locally focused.
“In the four months that I have served here on an interim basis, I sense that our staff is keenly aware of this,” he said. “My job is to ensure I continue to foster that concept so that our newspapers — both in print and online — remain relevant in an increasingly noisy race to grab readers’ attention and advertisers’ dollars.”