News Media owner passes


VALLEY — Longtime media magnate John C. Tompkins, 69, passed away on June 2, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz., following a lengthy illness.

Tompkins was the principal owner of News Media Corporation (NMC) which he built to over 75 publications in nine states over a period of 48 years, including the Valley Courier daily and the seven publications of Valley Publishing, all in the San Luis Valley. NMC purchased the Courier in November 1992 and added the weekly operations in June 1993.

According to his obituary, “John was not only a newspaperman, but he was also a visionary entrepreneur and gifted strategist who was not afraid to take risks. John loved his ‘business family’ and the unique communities that NMC serves.”

Valley Courier Publisher Keith R. Cerny, who has worked for Tompkins for 35 years, said he had a great relationship with his longtime mentor who was well known in media circles across the country.

“He was not only my boss, but I also considered him a brother and a dear friend,” Cerny said. “We shared intense business discussions, but also a lot of laughs, and even some tears. He will be deeply missed in the NMC family.”

A memorial service will be at held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2023, in the City First Church Chapel, 5950 Spring Creek Rd., Rockford, Ill., with Pastor Dan Qualls officiating.

A complete obituary may be found under obituaries on the home page.