Sarah Keith

SAFFORD — The newspapers serving Graham and Greenlee counties, as well as Willcox, have new leadership.

On Tuesday, Wick Communications announced that Sarah Keith would be assuming the duties as publisher of Eastern Arizona Courier, Copper Era, and Arizona Range News newspapers, effective immediately.

“I am looking forward to becoming part of the community, learning more about the area and the wonderful people that make it what it is. I want to create a great partnership between area businesses, leaders and our area publications,” Keith said.

Keith is a 12-year veteran with Wick Communications, most recently serving as advertising director for the Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun for the past three years. She began her newspaper career in the Production Department, performing page layout and ad design, before moving into advertising sales in 2014.

She will be moving to the Gila Valley permanently starting Monday.

“I have a great deal to learn about the area, but what better way than from people who live and work in the different areas that make up the Gila Valley,” she said. I want to make sure that we are seen as a partner in the community for the area businesses, leaders and residents. Of course, there will be a transition period for myself, the staff and the community, but I am confident that with a little time, I will become just as much a part of and advocate for the community as someone who has lived in the area their whole life.”

Keith said one of the chief ways she believes partnerships with area businesses can grow is by offering multiple marketing platforms, and the same applies to how readers consume their local news.

“Digital is the future, as they say, but nothing can replace the printed word. Holding a newspaper in your hands comes with a powerful history. We need to remember the importance of local reporting, journalism, advertising and the fact that a community newspaper brings everyone together. Whatever your politics, religion, opinion — we as a community need to stick together and the local paper is a great resource to make that happen,” Keith said. “True journalism is critical to the country and the world. From the local high school football game highlights to world-altering events, we need to be informed and journalism gives us that. With the rise of skepticism of the media in general, local newspapers have a chance to establish themselves as a trustworthy voice in the community.”

Prior to her work with the Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun, she lived in Northern California, just outside of Chico, Calif., where she worked on a cattle ranch and in a family-owned diner.

“I’ve been fortunate to travel in and out of the country and live in different places throughout my life, all of which have made me who I am today. I am excited about new adventures and making new friends and creating new relationships,” Keith said.