#MediaMonday – Kelly Mixer

Today’s Media Monday comes to us from Kelly Mixer, a former HMA staffer and current editor and senior reporter at Queen Creek Sun Times. We previously profiled Kelly in 2014 but a lot has changed since then. Kelly, take it away!

In my more than 30-year professional career, mostly in journalism at both daily and community newspapers, I took time off in between to work for public relations agencies in both the St. Louis and Phoenix metropolitan areas, including serving as volunteer PR director and member of the Friends for Life Animal Rescue Board of Directors in Gilbert. I believe the best PR people are former journalists because they understand what editors want and need, and how we want it (emails, don’t bury the lead or location, no attachments, give us photos we can print if we ask for them). That’s another topic I could write about forever but let me just say that my biggest pet peeve from PR professionals is when I get press releases for “First Annual” events. There is no such thing, it’s an inaugural event and cannot be classified as annual until it has been hosted for two consecutive years (sorry, just had to get that one off my chest).

I was born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis and since I worked for HMA during some of my previous PR days Scott Hanson and Abbie Fink will both tell you I’m a diehard St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan so any mention of that always gets my attention. I love the Valley of Sun though and have lived and worked here now for nearly 25 years and still follow my Big Red football team (they were the St. Louis Cardinals when I was growing up before they moved to Arizona after my senior year in high school).

Freedom of the press is essential, but in community newspapers and news websites such as the QueenCreekSunTimes.com, we value the freedom of our readers, community and business leaders, among others to get the chance to contribute opinions, letters to the editor and specialty advice columns. I’ve been told that it’s often the most read part of our news site. We publish community professional advice from everything to health and public safety, real estate, education and pets. It’s something we pride ourselves in as a COMMUNITY news website.

I’ve never been more proud to be at the helm of such a reader-embraced community news website as the QueenCreekSunTimes.com. Some people have asked me why I stay in a dying business and I remind them that I’m in COMMUNITY journalism and that it’s actually a thriving business because our readers want to hear about what’s going on in THEIR community.

How did you get your start in writing? Tell us your story!

I’ve always been a writer, I used to make up my own stories and put them to paper when I was young and started writing poetry as a teenager. Then, when I originally went to Missouri State University as an education major (wanted to teach English, of course) I fell in love with journalism. It was all over when I got paid to work as a reporter and editor at The Standard university newspaper and did everything from features editor to photo editor. I had found my calling and I was in love with the old dark room and the smell of newspaper print and late-night press runs when we had to paste up our pages for print (showing my age here).

Tell us about the story pitches you want to hear from the community.

Anything Queen Creek/San Tan Valley and surrounding East Valley/Maricopa and Pinal counties.

Tell us about one of your favorite stories you have covered.

My St. Louis Cardinals, here in Phoenix, back when Tony La Russa was manager and we had a Phoenix Mountain Pointe High grad as a new member of the team. It was a lifelong dream come true to be in the Cardinals dugout and on the field interviewing my Redbirds and skipper. Then I got to cover the game from the media box and that was a fun, different experience for me.

Favorite type of music?

I love all music, but my favorite is probably Classic Rock.

Favorite local restaurants or other haunts?

Still just getting back out after COVID restrictions, but we always love to keep trying new places while supporting our local dog-friendly spots with great patios, like O.H.S.O. Brewery-Gilbert. We live in Gilbert so we love to hang out under the water tower in downtown, enjoying all the wonderful establishments.

What’s something readers would be surprised to know about you?

I played the electric bass as the only female member of a rock band in high school. I played many instruments; the violin, cello and string bass before I figured out the electric bass would get me dates with boys.

Favorite color?


Favorite thing about living in Arizona?

Don’t have to shovel snow or scrape my windshield. Love all that the outdoors has to offer in Arizona.

Best way to get in touch with you?

kelly@queencreeksuntimes.com or kmixer@orourkemediagroup.com


Written by
at Dec 6, 2021

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