By Heidi Simmons

The CVW “Women’s Issue” was a lot of work and a beautiful success. However, there are two important corrections to note and an omission to include.

In attorney Valerie Powers Smith piece, I said she practiced Family Law. Powers in fact practices Estate and Trust Planning and Administration specializing in special needs, same-sex, and complex planning; as well as, guardianships and conservatorships; and healthcare insurance and Medicaid. And Stephanie Greene’s mentor Toni Alexander is alive! It was Alexander’s husband’s funeral Greene attended not her mentor’s.

Due to the need for space, Tracy Dietlin was omitted. It is time readers know a little something about the woman behind this publication.

Tracy Dietlin: CV Weekly Publisher


by Heidi Simmons

The right to free speech and a free press is arguably the strongest American attribute. It is what makes this country great. Tracy Dietlin is publisher of the Coachella Valley Weekly or CV Weekly. She has given the valley and high desert a new and colorful voice.

In a world that continues to move toward digital communication, Dietlin bravely took on the free, over-sized tabloid niche. Only 20 months new, Dietlin continues to build her publication both in print and online.

“I wanted something that would celebrate the valley and all the great things that happen here,” said Dietlin. Her goal: To be the only weekly paper that you want or need for music, movies, live theatre, dining, casinos, business, fashion, sports, mind, body, spirit, health, fitness, beauty, books, pets, politics and culture.

“I don’t want my paper to have a demographic,” said Dietlin. “It’s for everyone. It literally has something for everybody.” CV circulation is now 30,000 and is at 700 locations throughout the valley and high desert. Its online presence continues to grow with more and more readers outside the valley.

Dietlin has been an entrepreneur her whole life. A visionary, she has a gift of seeing a need and filling it. At 20 years old, Dietlin recognized the need for construction site cleanup and shortly had eight employees. In the first year, her business grossed over $100.000.

During the 1980’s she also owned, produced and directed beauty pageants and talent competitions. Her daughter, Michelle Brewer, now 29, did acting for a couple of years in Hollywood.

Dietlin moved to the CV in 1991 after becoming a massage therapist. A serious shoulder injury pushed her into sales. She worked for several print publications in the valley as both a writer and account executive, as well as producing, directing and selling ads for a local TV show.

In the early 2000’s her love of music took her in the direction of managing several bands along with being a booking agent, publicist and producing Battle of the Bands and other events.

Thinking ahead, Dietlin officially registered the CV Weekly name in 2007, hoping some day she would have the opportunity to actually publish her own paper.

“I’ve had many careers,” said Dietlin. “But I always wanted to be a writer.” Dietlin has published song lyrics and a book of poetry. For Dietlin, the irony is that now that she has a paper, she rarely has time to write. Dietlin is the sole owner and publisher. She is editor, sales manager and bookkeeper. Dietlin has eight employees and a writing staff of 30. She puts in a huge amount of time every day, seven days a week, to ensure a quality product.

“Most of my writers have been with me since the beginning,” said Dietlin. “Robert Chance (CVW graphic designer) is absolutely amazing and has a great temperament. I’m so fortunate to have such good people.”

Then there’s Philip Lacombe, Dietlin’s husband. “He’s my right hand. He does so much, he’s wonderful,” said Dietlin. Lacombe may be the valley’s most cheerful and friendliest person. They have been together for eight years. They run the CVW business from home.

Besides building a paper, they have made a family together. Dietlin and Lacombe have full custody of his boys ages 12 and 15. They have two cats that are also like their children.

Besides being a shrewd businessperson, Dietlin is tenacious and sensitive, insightful and bright, intuitive and generous. “If I won a lot of money I would set up charities for the homeless, for the care of animals and to help women who have lost everything get back on their feet.”

She loves music, she’s a competitive trivia buff and she loves Sons of Anarchy. But most of all she loves to laugh! In fact, she always wanted to do stand-up comedy.

Dietlin had a dream. She wanted to win an Academy Award© for best writing, best producer, best director and best film. In many ways, she has succeeded. Dietlin is a great writer, produces a popular publication, directs a complicated cast of characters and delivers the best paper in the Coachella Valley. She deserves an Oscar©!

Disclaimer from the Publisher! Only because Heidi Simmons threatened to never write for me again if I didn’t include this, am I allowing the above article to be printed. The Women’s Issue was not about me but about all the amazing women in this valley.
Thank you Heidi, for making me sound so credible and for your support.

Last week’s issue was a huge undertaking but well worth it to let our readers know a little more about these extraordinary women. There are so many more I wanted to include (next time).

I would like to thank the IW Club for allowing us to photograph all the women on the stairs of their club.

I would like to again thank Chris Miller for taking the cover photo but we accidentally left out a few other photo credits so I would like to thank Scott Pam for taking the photo of Carrie Wilson, Gregg Felsen for the photo of Mindy Reed, Laura Hunt Little for the photo of Laramie Eve, and Robert Jonathan {RJ} Taylor from for all the photos he took on page 33 of the Stanley Kramer Film Festival, which CV Weekly sponsored.

I would also like to thank all of my writers who wrote the ladies profiles; Heidi Simmons, Denise Ortuno Neil, Haddon Libby, Judith Salkin, Bronwyn Ison, Janet McAfee, Laura Hunt Little, Lola Rossi, Ray Bill, Scott Pam, Eric Robertson, Noe Gutierrez, Rick Riozza, Craig Michaels, Patte Purcell and Philip Lacombe.

Stay tuned for the Men’s Issue coming soon!