MISSION – Denise M. Rendon, Progress Times director of sales and marketing and owner of Savy Publishing LLC, has purchased the newspaper from Jim Brunson.
Rendon began working for the Progress Times as an advertising account representative in 2012 and was named director of sales and marketing in 2016. She has now assumed the role of publisher.
Brunson, who retains ownership of the Winter Texan Times, said he is pleased to leave the Progress Times in good hands with Rendon.
“I am confident she will continue to ensure the Progress Times provides the quality news coverage that is needed for each of the communities we serve in western Hidalgo County,” he said. “The role of the hometown newspaper is vital to the health and vitality of any community; we serve as watchdogs of local government as well as the support organization for all that is good in the area we call home.”
Brunson started working as advertising manager for the Progress Times in 1981, when his mother-in-law, June K. Brann, recruited him to work in the family business. Brann, who spent her entire life as a journalist in newspaper, radio and TV, had purchased the newspaper in 1980 from a group of Mission businessmen who founded the paper as the Upper Valley Progress in August of 1972. She changed the name of the paper to the Progress Times in 1984.
Brann and Brunson founded the Winter Texan Times in 1987. It quickly grew in circulation, readership and sales revenues as the co-publishers shaped the paper into a Valley-wide product, serving Winter Texans from west of Mission to South Padre Island. Brunson decided early on to also increase the publication’s frequency from twice a month to weekly.
When Brann retired in 2003, Brunson purchased her share of both newspapers, becoming the sole owner and publisher of both the Progress Times and the Winter Texan Times.