Santa Barbara News-Press

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Santa Barbara News-Press
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Ampersand Publishing
PublisherWendy P. McCaw,
Arthur von Wiesenberger
FoundedMay 30, 1868
Headquarters715 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
United States

The Santa Barbara News-Press is a broadsheet newspaper based in Santa Barbara, California.


The face of the News-Press building in De La Guerra Plaza.

The oldest predecessor (the weekly Santa Barbara Post) of the News-Press started publishing on May 30, 1868.[1]

The Santa Barbara Post became the Santa Barbara Press, which eventually became the Morning Press which was acquired in 1932 by Thomas M. Storke and merged with his paper, the Santa Barbara News, to make the Santa Barbara News-Press.[2] Storke, a prominent local rancher and booster descended from the Spanish founders of Santa Barbara, brought the paper to prominence. For many years his father, Charles A. Storke, ran the editorial page; his son, Charles A. Storke II, oversaw operations between 1932 and 1960. In 1962, T. M. Storke won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing "for his forceful editorials calling public attention to the activities of a semi-secret organization known as the John Birch Society". His children did not express interest in continuing to run the paper, however.

Storke then sold the paper in 1964 to Robert McClean,[3] owner of the Philadelphia Bulletin, who turned over publishing of the News-Press to one of his nephews, Stuart S. Taylor, father of writer Stuart Taylor, Jr. (The Philadelphia Bulletin continued to be run by another nephew of Robert McLean.) Under Stuart S. Taylor's tutelage news writers flourished, including Dick Smith, Walker Tompkins, and others. The nearby Dick Smith Wilderness Area was named for Dick, a noted environmentalist. Larry Pidgeon was a well-known editorial writer for the paper. The paper was sold to The New York Times in 1984. In 2000 the paper was bought by Wendy P. McCaw, an ex-wife of billionaire Craig McCaw.[4][5][6]


In early summer 2006, six editors and a long-time columnist suddenly resigned. The group cited the imposition of McCaw and her managers' personal opinions onto the process of reporting and publishing the news; McCaw expressed the view that the News-Press newsroom staff had become sloppy and biased. Tensions had existed between McCaw and the newsroom since she bought the News-Press in 2000.[7]

Between July 2006 and February 2007, 60 staff (out of 200 total employees), including all but 2 news reporters, resigned or were fired from the News-Press. Newsroom employees voted to unionize with the Teamsters, and both the News-Press management and the Teamsters made multiple appeals to the National Labor Relations Board. Former employees have encouraged subscribers to cancel their subscriptions to the News-Press, and have encouraged advertisers to cease advertising in the paper. McCaw's attorneys have filed lawsuits against former employees, journalists, as well as competing newspapers, and have issued numerous cease and desist letters, to websites linking to the News-Press website, to local business that display signs in support of former employees, and to former employees who speak to the local media.

The parent company of the News-Press, Ampersand Publishing, filed a copyright infringement suit on November 9, 2006, against the Santa Barbara Independent ("SBI")—where many former News-Press columnists had become contributors to the community weekly—claiming that a link on violated copyright law. The case never reached trial, as an undisclosed settlement was reached on April 28, 2008, resulting in a dismissal at the request of the parties.[8][9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Santa Barbara - A Guide to the Channel City and its Environs, American Guide Series by the Southern California Writers' Project of the Works Project Administration, Hastings House Publishers, New York, 1941.
  2. ^ The claim to 1855 rests upon a person named B.W. Keep who founded the Santa Barbara Gazette in 1855, who left the news business in 1858 or 1861, but then returned to the business when he helped found the Santa Barbara Democrat in 1878. The Democrat is one of the predecessors of the Santa Barbara News, which merged with the Press in 1932.Snug Spouts Blog, Aug. 3, 2006
  3. ^ Santa Barbara Independent, July 20, 2006 Archived October 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Divorce And Dollars". Forbes. September 27, 2002. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Anderson, Rick (July 20, 2006). "Battling Wendy; McCaw and her lawyers take on freedom of the press". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  6. ^ Haines, Thomas W. (May 6, 1997). "$1.3 Billion Mccaw Split: State's Biggest Divorce Case -- Lawyers Could Make Millions As Dividing The Couple's Estate Becomes An Industry In Itself". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Paterno, Susan (December 2006). "Santa Barbara Smackdown". American Journalism Review. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Welsh, Nick (May 6, 2008). "News-Press, Indy Settle Lawsuit; An End to Dispute Over Alleged Copyright Infringements". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Mackie, Drew (March 27, 2008). "Judge in News-Press vs. Independent Copyright Suit Dies". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Kettmann, Matt (December 12, 2006). "The Indy Fights Back; Defense readied in response to News-Press lawsuit". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved July 12, 2017.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 34°25′11″N 119°41′53″W / 34.41962°N 119.69812°W / 34.41962; -119.69812