From the Publisher, Tracy Dietlin
This issue marks Coachella Valley Weekly’s 9 years of being a publication. Every year on our Anniversary we put all of the previous year’s cover on that issue’s cover. Last year we did the same, however, it was the first week in 8 years that we were not able to actually print the paper due to the Covid pandemic and everything shutting down for quarantine. It was a devastating blow!
Owning my own publication had been a dream of mine for many years and on March 29, 2012 my dream came true. It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination over the years as CV Weekly has literally been my life. I eat, sleep and breathe everything CV Weekly.
I immediately knew that I couldn’t give up and had to pull my big girl panties on, roll up my sleeves and continue to publish every week even if only online. And that is what we have done every week since. Even when I was so very sick with Covid and pneumonia and the after effects of it throughout most of all last year, I was not going to let my publication fail…not my baby.
Thanks to Phil Lacombe my amazing partner, we started doing a weekly newsletter/eblast putting CV Weekly in everybody’s inbox. That really helped keep us more relevant since we still have not resumed printing.
I am proud of the issues that we published each and every week as we had to change our focus from being an entertainment driven publication to a new direction to cover the events of the time. I have an amazing team to thank for their unwavering support during the last year. (Please see list below). Especially when the majority of all of our advertising dollars dried up for months and it was by the skin of my teeth that I and we, were able to make every week happen.
I also want to thank all the community members that have made very generous donations over the last year and still continue to so that we can keep going.
This was also the first year that we were not able to do the CV Music Awards live like the previous 7 years. So we had to get creative and roll with the changes and we pulled off a successful virtual event with live performances in a safe location with no live audience and we prerecorded acceptance speeches in my back yard with all safety protocols. This would not have been possible without the very generous sponsorship dollars from Mandy Calvano’s Customer Care Solutions, The 3 M’s, Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino, Big Rock Pub and Vincent Battaglia of Renova Solar. Brian Champagne did a fantastic job hosting us at his Vivid Staging Studios. My Art Director, Robert Chance, did an amazing job with all the graphics for the event as well. Once again the community stepped in to make sure these awards still happened.
We look forward to being back in print soon. On another note our amazing printer that we used for 8 years, Valley Printers, had to shut down permanently due to the devastation of quarantine and so many other publications no longer printing. So we are in the process of finding a new printer. I am a bit picky. The reason our publication looked so good was the fact that we used them even though it cost a lot more than other printers, on top of me paying to have them picked up every week all the way out in Sylmar. So the next time you see us in print we will have a slightly different look.
We also have another very exciting project in the works that I can’t quite mention yet, but it will take CV Weekly to another level so standby for that.
I would also like to thank all of our loyal readers and advertisers over the last 9 years for all of your support.
The last 9 years have been stressful, all consuming, fulfilling, rewarding and everything in between, but most of all my dream come true and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! Here’s to another 9. Cheers!
NOW for the THANK YOUs:
I would like to thank our current team. First, I want to thank my partner Phil Lacombe who has been by my side through all of this. He has handled our social media and the Club Crawler Nightlife from the beginning. Two years in, he took over as head of Distribution which made a huge difference. He currently has added the weekly digital eblast newsletter to his list of assets.
Second, I want to thank Robert Chance, our amazing Art Director. Not only does he design creative covers, build ads, does photography for many of the covers, lays out the publication, but he also does assistant editing, which he does not get credit for.
Next I want to thank Billy Westley, who since the beginning drove from Hemet every week out to Sylmar to pick up the paper and then helped deliver it. You are a valued member of the team and I hope to have you delivering again soon.
Thank you to Noe Gutierrez, our head music writer… week after week you deliver quality music articles about the local music scene.
Crystal Harrell, our head feature writer. You joined us a few years ago and I can’t thank you enough for all the top notch articles you have written during this pandemic.
Thank you Lisa Morgan, who has held many positions since day one, including Sales Manager, Head Music Writer and all round CV Weekly cheerleader.
Thank you to Kirby our current Advertising Account Executive.
To all of our other current feature writers: Heidi Simmons, Tricia Witkower, Rich Henrich, Denise Ortuno Neil, and Laura Hunt Little, your contributions are most appreciated.
Thank you to our current columnists, many who have been with us since the beginning, like Robin Simmons, Haddon Libby, Dale Gribow, Rick Riozza, Janet Mc Afee, Eleni Austin, Raymond Bill, Sam DiGiovanna, DeeJae Cox, Ruth Hill, Michelle Borthwick, Aimee Mosco, Lynne Tucker, Rob Brezny, Craig Michaels, Flint Wheeler, Aaron Ramson, Michelle Rizzio, Angela Romeo, Chris Clemens, Mike Felci and Ed Heethuis.
There are several past columnists that were with us for many years whose contributions were so important: Bronwyn Ison, Bruce Cathcart, Sunny Simon, Jason Hall, Dr. Peter Kadile, Marissa Willman, Elizabeth Scarcella and the late Judith Salkin. Thank you to our Art Director for the first year, Oscar Arbulu, who helped shape the design of the publication and Ivan Urias and Rudy Mendez who handled distribution the first year.
A big thank you to all of our photographers over the years that provided quality work: Laura Hunt Little, Chris Miller, Robert Chance, Iris Hall, Steve Young, Brian Blueskye, Scott Pam, Lani Garfield, Kurt Schawacker and Crystal Harrell.
Each and every one of you are rock stars!
And finally I must acknowledge and thank my very dear friend, our local legend, the late BB Ingle. His support throughout the years was immeasurable. He was on more of our covers than anyone. Most importantly he was on our very first mock cover. When I told BB I was going to start my own publication in 2012 and asked if I could put him on the mock cover to use to be able to go out and sell ads for our actual first issue he said “Absolutely!” So we did a St. Patrick’s Day cover; his favorite holiday.
Over the years, every chance that he got to speak publicly about CV Weekly, including his acceptance speech when he was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Promoter” at the 2019 CV Music Awards, he would always say: “Tracy and Phil have never missed putting out an issue every week in all these years!”
Love and miss you BB!