News-Press to Vacate Historic Downtown Building, Moving to Goleta

By the edhat staff

The historic Santa Barbara News-Press building at 715 Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara will now officially be vacant.

On Saturday, the embattled newspaper announced it’s moving all of its administrative operations, including its newsroom and advertising and circulation services, to 725 S. Kellogg Ave. in Goleta.

“The Goleta site has long been the News-Press printing plant, and moving our operations there will allow for greater efficiency in serving our readers,” the News-Press stated in its online article.

News-Press stated the advertising department and receptionist will move on Monday, April 24, the pre-press department will move on Tuesday, April 25, followed by the newsroom on May 1. 

It’s another blow to the dwindling daily paper that alerted its subscribers papers would stop being delivered to doorsteps this past October citing labor shortages, higher gas prices, and “other current economic challenges that have necessitated this change.” 

The Santa Barbara News-Press began printing as a weekly paper, The Santa Barbara Post in 1868, and after an acquisition in 1932 and a merger was renamed the News-Press. The respected paper won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1962 under the tutelage of T.M. Storke. The paper was sold in 1964 before being sold again to The New York Times in 1984.

The paper’s current owner, Wendy P. McCaw, purchased the paper in 2000, and in 2006, controversy swirled the once notable publication as editors and writers resigned with claims of McCaw interferring in the newsroom.

More reporters and staffers were fired, or resigned, leading to numerous lawsuits and an all-out boycott of the paper by the majority of Santa Barbara residents. 

Former News-Press journalists, Melinda Burns and Dawn Hobbs, penned an opinion piece in 2020 on McCaw’s “abuse of power.” They reported an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board ordered McCaw to pay $2 million to the employee union and nearly 50 newsroom employees, in restitution for labor law violations going back a dozen years.

 

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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24 Comments

  1. I was told the NP has extensive archives that she never allowed anyone to access. I hope she sends these to a respectable archive, like UCSB. A lot of SB history is in that building, both in print and in spirit. Hopefully, she won’t destroy this history. Yes, she is a destructive right wing force in the SB area. Sell the paper to someone with integrity and go away.

  2. I doubt that “an all-out boycott of the paper by the majority of Santa Barbara residents” took place. I submit that a majority of SB residents don’t subscribe to or read any “paper” and haven’t for decades. Those that want to read a local daily news “paper” can’t do so easily because access to the “paper” requires daily travel to a location where it might be found. I do agree that the publication was increasingly an echo chamber of Reagan fanatics and Fox News crazies. Glad to see the marketplace pressure having an effect, though Wendy’s wealth probably means the paper will continue to gasp on until she is out of the picture.

  3. When Mrs. McCaw went to war with the editorial and reporting staff in 2006, it was the beginning of the end for the News-Press. When the paper started mailing out its daily publications, it was a death knell for it. Newspapers continue to be an important news source, especially for local news, when they have been able to stay meaningful and thus survive. It has not been easy for them. We continue to subscribe to the LA Times and the WSJ. As a remonder to Mrs. McCall, Rupert Murdoch has continued to allow the WSJ to do its job, regardless of his troubles with Fox. This is a sad day for Santa Barbara, a once fine local paper and the legacy of Thomas Storke.

  4. Wendy McCaw destroyed the integrity of one of the best newspapers in the US. I stopped my subscription and generally ignored any of her self-serving bs. The final straw was during one of the wildfires when news sources such as the Independent and KEYT published information for free while Wendy put it behind a paywall. I wish she would sell it. I believe the building is worth more than the paper by multiple factors.

  5. It is a sad day that a once excellent local newspaper is fading away. In its heyday (BW – Before Wendy) you had Bob Sollen reporting daily on the 1969 oil blowout in the channel, Barney Brantingham’s column with his keen eye on SB’s oddities, John Zant’s informative sports reporting, Melinda Burns’ intelligent prose, incredible photographers and editors.
    I remember so well when the New York Times bought the paper and people were worried it would destroy the NP’s sharp local focus; it did not, the Times left it alone and simply used it as a cash cow. Then when they decided to sell it, readers were hoping a local would buy it, and so Wendy McCaw was welcomed . . . which didn’t last long as her incompetence and lack of journalistic ethics started a long slide into irrelevance.
    I worked for a time for the NP (BW) and loved the camaraderie of its staff and dedication to the news, then I left for an opportunity to own Dick Praul’s independent reporting business which I rebranded as County News Service, with a companion News Clipping Service.
    NP’s history is incredible, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning TM Storke’s editorial against the KKK and later Dick Smith’s reporting on the backcountry, a portion of which bears his name.
    Wendy’s legacy? A sad and unnecessary slide into irrelevance. It’s way past time for her to sell it to professionals who just might be able to save what became a shadow of its former self, even though it does have a few good reporters.

    • Totally agree! Thanks for reminding of Bob Sollen and Barney! Bob Sollen was great. And Melinda Burns, John Zant–good journalists! T. M. Storke was a curmudgeon and very opinionated, but he took down the John Birch Society (not the KKK as far as I recall)–hard to believe there were days when Republicans weren’t so right wing as to be wingnuts. Storke was also instrumental in getting the UCSB campus transferred from the federal gov’t.

  6. Im convinced that Wendy still owns the newspaper just to prevent it from being a functioning newspaper. If some old bat like her didnt own it, SB being what it is, it would be liberal-leaning. It must be hemorrhaging money and even though she’s very wealthy and incredibly out of touch and out to lunch, she barely uses it to publish her views anymore. It’s mostly just wire service articles and mediocre drivel.

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