A crowd "watches" the World Series covered by the Arizona Republican outside the Heard Building in 1921. In these pre-radio days, news wire services transmitted each at-bat and inning, which were placed on the scoreboard.
If you grew up in Phoenix in the 1960s and 1970s, the media landscape looked like this:
The Arizona Republic was the morning newspaper. The afternoon paper was The Phoenix Gazette. Although both were owned by the Pulliam family, their newsrooms competed fiercely. The Republic was the statewide newspaper while the Gazette focused on the city. Publisher Eugene C. Pulliam was known for his conservative views and occasional front-page editorials. Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Reg Manning's signature included a cactus. Well into the 1960s, news hawkers in green aprons shouted headlines from downtown sidewalks, ready to sell you a paper.
Surrounding towns had their newspapers, too. Among them, The Mesa Tribune, Tempe Daily News, Chandler Arizonan, and Scottsdale Daily Progress. The city gained an alternative weekly with New Times, founded in 1970 by a group of ASU students. Phoenix Magazine was started in the 1966 by the Welch family.
Television meant the local affiliates of the three networks: KOOL (CBS), KTAR (NBC) and KTVK (ABC). Phoenix had one independent station, KPHO, which was the home of Wallace and Ladmo. Radio ran from easy listening to top 40 (KRIZ, KRUX and KUPD). By the 1970s, newcomer KDKB played album-oriented rock with a hippie laid-back style.
You knew personalities such as bola-tie-wearing Bill Close, the Walter Cronkite of Phoenix, on KOOL (promoted on the billboard, right). Mary Jo West became one of Phoenix's first female anchors in 1976, joining Close (a crusty guy who was not happy to work with a woman at first). In 1982, Close would be at the center of a famous hostage situation, where a gunman took over the studio and demanded to read a statement on the air. On KOY radio, Bill Heywood presided over the morning drive time, while Alan Chilcoat did afternoons and "sang the weather." Johnny McKinney at KUPD was one of the many popular rock DJs.
Overall, what would come to be called "media" was pretty bland in Phoenix of this era. There were exceptions, and not merely when New Times started to shake things up. The Republic and Gazette was capable of excellent investigative reporting and exposed land fraud and crooked pols, along with plenty of boosterism. Glendale Pontiac dealer, and future governor, Evan Mecham published a short-lived Evening American because he thought Pulliam was too liberal. But most Phoenicians felt a deep connection to these publishers and broadcasters.