WICK COMMUNICATIONS: A HISTORY OF SERVICE
Milton I. Wick founded Wick Communications with his brother James in 1926, when he became owner and publisher of the Niles Daily Times in Niles, Ohio.
Mr. Wick was born Feb. 20, 1899, in Bowdle, South Dakota. He attended Irving Grade School and South High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the University of Iowa and received a B.A. degree from the University of Nebraska in 1922. While in college, Milton and James Wick organized a business in Lincoln, Nebraska, that employed university students to sell books to farmers during the summer. The enterprise was so successful it was expanded to Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, employing more than 500 students during its three years of operation. After graduation, Milton Wick worked in the sales department of McQuay-Norris, a manufacturer in St. Louis, Missouri. He married Rosemary Lumas in 1926, and they had two sons, Walter M. Wick and Robert J. Wick. He turned to the publishing business in 1926, when he bought the Niles Daily Times. He eventually acquired 27 newspapers in several states.
Mr. Wick and his brother, accompanied by their wives, were the first U.S. journalists to tour and report from European and Asiatic Russia; previous reports had come from Moscow only. The Wicks also led the first group of U.S. journalists, as Wick Editors Tours, to Poland and Czechoslovakia. They also reported from Hungary and Romania. The Wicks were in Hungary in May 1955, 18 months before the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and reported that the Hungarians were outspoken in their hatred of the Russians. The Wicks were the only U.S. journalists to witness and photograph the May Day Parade in Budapest and to report that every tenth marcher in the parade was a Russian soldier in uniform.
Milton I. Wick interviewed many of the world’s leading statesmen, among them United Kingdom Prime Minister Anthony Eden; West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer; President Rene Coty of France; Austrian Chancellors Julius Raab and Leopold Figl; President Urho Kekkonen of Finland; King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece; Egyptian President Muhammad Naguib; Syrian President Adib Shishakli; and President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon.
James was a partner in every newspaper enterprise until his death in 1965, when Milton and his sons purchased his interests. That same year, Milton became director of the University of Nebraska Alumni Association; he also was a retired director of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and publisher emeritus of the weekly newsletter Human Events. Milton Wick died Nov. 30, 1981, at age 82. He was inducted into the Arizona Newspapers Association Hall of Fame in 1996.
His sons, Walter and Robert, continued the family tradition of serving the community. They were named to the Arizona Newspapers Association Hall of Fame in 2004 in recognition of their devotion to newspapers and their support of community journalism. Walter Wick died in 2016, and Robert Wick passed away in 2022, with his son, Francis Wick, at the helm of Wick Communications.
Francis Wick always knew his future was in journalism, under the direction of his father and uncle. He attended the University of Arizona, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science and an MBA. He worked at several community newspapers before returning to the Sierra Vista Herald as publisher in 2014. He became CEO of Wick Communications in 2016. Francis and his wife, Amanda, are energized by their young twins, Savannah and Sebastian.
Several family members continue to serve at Wick Communications and lead the Wick legacy into the changing landscape of journalism.