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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : business : business August 01, 2014

5/29/2010 9:39:00 PM
Big changes, familiar faces
Wiederaenders is Courier's new editor; Despain takes on managing editor post

Jason Soifer
The Daily Courier

With Executive Editor Ben Hansen's retirement this past week, two veteran Daily Courier editors have new titles and responsibilities.

Tim Wiederaenders is vacating the managing editor's position to take over as editor, with Karen Despain returning as managing editor.

"I couldn't be more excited about becoming editor of The Daily Courier," Wiederaenders said. "The challenge of leading a newspaper as venerable as the Courier is a genuine thrill, and I can't wait to get started.

"I'm over the moon. I have worked my way up to editor over the past 14 years at the Courier. I cherish this place."

In the late '80s, Wiederaenders worked for the Gannett-owned daily The Ft. Collins Coloradoan, as well as The Rocky Mountain News. He graduated in 1989 from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

He came to Arizona in 1991 to work at the Lake Havasu City Herald, a publication now known as Today's News-Herald. Since then he has been editor of several Western News&Info Inc. newspapers including the Herald, the Kingman Daily Miner and Golden Valley Enterprise; and was previously copy editor, news editor and city editor of The Daily Courier.

In July 2005, Wiederaenders became managing editor of The Daily Courier when Despain retired. She is now making a return engagement at the Courier.

After retiring, Despain came back to the Courier in February 2009 to fill a vacancy in the editing staff on a part-time basis.

"My friends tease me that being in the newspaper business is in my blood and I readily admit to that," she said. "I am so fortunate to have been in a career that I love and in a business that I respect.

"It is my privilege and an honor to be a part of the Courier editorial staff and working with such a great team."

Born and reared in Phoenix, Despain graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism and first came to work for the Prescott Evening Courier right out of college in 1962 covering courts, cops and county government. She went back to Phoenix and worked as managing editor for a magazine for physicians and completed her teaching degree.

Despain came back to the Courier in the late 1980s to cover county government and eventually was promoted to city editor and then managing editor.

Wiederaenders said the Courier will continue to put community first. "We have an open-door policy, and our readers and residents should feel free to stop by and say hello, give us news tips or offer suggestions," he said.

Wiederaenders serves the community as president of the Yavapai County Education Foundation Board of Directors and chairman of the SAVE-Prescott Board of Trustees (Students Against Violence Everyday), and often participates in speaking engagements. He earned his master's degree in education from Northern Arizona University in 2002.

Despain volunteers with Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity, serves on the Yavapai County Arizona Centennial Celebration Committee, and sits on the advisory board for the Yavapai County Juvenile Court Center.

Kit Atwell, CEO and publisher for Prescott Newspapers Inc., said, "Ben has been an asset to PNI for 13 years. We wish him well in his retirement.

"Tim and Karen bring a combined total of more than 50 years of newspaper experience to The Daily Courier. I am happy we were able to make this a seamless transition for the newspaper and the community."

Related Stories:
• Courier editor retires to carve out new adventures

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Article comment by: Gail Luedtke

I am so happy for both of you. Always had an open door policy for me and were helpful in many mutiple ways over the years.

Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Article comment by: TO: JOANNE TWADDELL From: AJ Williamson

Please DO come back comment was for JOANNE TWADDELL

Bring her back Tim & Congratulations!


Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Article comment by: Parker Anderson

Congrats to both! Godspeed.

Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Article comment by: Dennis McGowan

Congratulations Karen and Tim! And 'Happy Retirement' to you, Ben. Wishing all of you the very best.

Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Article comment by:

Please DO come back! You've been missed! Really liked your stories for the Courier.
You're a great reporter!
AJ Williamson67@yahoo.com

Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Article comment by: Joanne Twaddell

Tim and Karen! It must be time for my return. Third times a charm.

Congrats to both of you.

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Article comment by: Shari Lopatin

Tim and Karen,

Congrats to you both! Karen, I never worked under you, but I've heard great things and know you're a huge asset to the newsroom. Tim, a well-deserved promotion. =) Very happy for you! I know the Courier will remain in good hands.

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Article comment by: Marianne Vangalio

CONGRATULATIONS, TIM! I knew the day would arrive when you'd be promoted as Chief Editor. All the best to you!

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Article comment by: Tom Hood

Congrats Tim and Karen. Two great people running a great newspaper.

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Article comment by: Chad Simpson

Congrates. The community is lucky to have you two at the helm of the Courier. Wishing you the best for the future.

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Article comment by: Gail Kenny

Congratulations, Tim & Karen. Well-deserved. Best of everything to you both.

Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010
Article comment by: mary louise alvarado

the DAILY COURIER is in good hands.
thank you ben hansen and the board members for making this wonderful choice.
many years of GREAT work ahead.
good-day, mary lou.

Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010
Article comment by: Tammy Linn

Congrats to Tim and Karen!

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