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Red Rock News
The first issue of the Red Rock News was published in the fall of 1963 by Robert and Loretta Larson. The inaugural issue, October 3, 1963, was assembled in the Larson home and contained 8 tabloid pages. The Larsons printed and distributed 1,000 free copies to the local population of Sedona, Arizona approximately 1,200 residents.
Robert and Loretta Larson had been publishing and editing the Sunnyslope News [sn 96060559] in Phoenix since 1956. The couple often visited Sedona and wanted to have a paper of their own in the growing community.
Prior to the arrival of the Red Rock News, several short-lived newspapers were published in Sedona. These included the Sedona Spectator [sn 99068156] started in 1958, which shuttered after only 6-months; the Red Rock Arrow [sn 94050503] which was printed for just four months, from February-May of 1958; The Oak Creek Bark [sn 96060906] mimeographed by the Chamber of Commerce from 1959-1960; The Oak Creek Sedonan [sn 94050508] which lasted four months in early 1962; and finally, the Hardscrabble News [sn 00060000] also published for a short time in 1962.
On the heels of the Hardscrabble News, Robert and Loretta Larson launched the Red Rock News creating a newspaper that prospered and stuck. In the paper’s first issue Robert Larson stated, “We have considered this venture thoroughly, in fact have given it thought and much discussion for the past four to five years. We have seen several papers come and go . . . with each one, we weighed carefully the reasons why . . .”
The Larsons remember Sedona was slow, at first, to accept another newspaper after the string of lackluster attempts that proceeded their arrival. However, the Larsons succeeded in building a readership. Robert Larson was from a newspapering family and had experience that other startups had not. Larson’s father, Ben M. Larson, owned and published the Circle Banner, in Circle, Montana.
Before moving to Arizona, Robert and Loretta Larson owned and published three newspapers in Montana: the Judith Basin Press, in Stanford, MT; The Belt Valley Times, in Belt, MT; and the Jordan Tribune in Jordan, MT.
Over the years the paper grew, some issues expanding to 32 pages and more, to cover local news and stories of interest to Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, and Oak Creek Canyon residents. In April 1980, the newspaper changed its name to the Sedona Red Rock News.Dates of Publication1963-1980Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationSedona, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.