The Bulletin (Bend)

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The Bulletin
The Bulletin (Bend) front page 2018.jpg
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Western Communications
Publisher John Costa
Founded 1903 (1903) as the Bend Bulletin
Headquarters Bend, Oregon, USA
Circulation 26,986 (weekdays)
Sister newspapers Baker City Herald, Curry Coastal Pilot, The Daily Triplicate, The Observer, The Redmond Spokesman, 'The Union Democrat

The Bulletin is the daily newspaper of Bend, Oregon, United States. The Bulletin is owned by Western Communications, a family-owned corporation founded by publisher Robert W. Chandler. Over the years, a number of well-known journalists have been associated with the newspaper.


To start a newspaper in Bend, a printing press and other publishing equipment items were brought overland from the railhead at Shaniko by freight wagon. The Bend Bulletin was first published as a weekly newspaper on March 27, 1903. The newspaper’s first publisher was Max Lueddemann with Don P. Rea serving as the first editor. When it began, the newspaper’s only other employee was a printer named A. H. Kennedy. The newspaper office was located in a rustic cabin on the east bank of the Deschutes River.[1][2] In the summer of 1904, the newspaper was sold to J. M. Lawrence. He moved the newspaper to an office building in downtown Bend.[1][3]

The Bend Bulletin, March 3, 1909

In 1910, George P. Putnam bought the Bend Bulletin from Lawrence. While he was the newspaper’s editor for only four years, Putnam continued as publisher for several more years. During his tenure, Putnam was active in local and state politics and the newspaper began promoting Central Oregon outside the local area. The Bend Bulletin shifted from a weekly publication to a daily newspaper on December 6, 1916.[1][2]

Robert W. Sawyer purchased Putnam’s interest in the newspaper in 1919. He hired Henry Fowler, who owned a minority share in the newspaper, as editor. Sawyer was a conservationist, who used his influence as a newspaper publisher to help preserve Oregon’s natural resources. In addition to publishing the Bend Bulletin, he served as president of the National Reclamation Association, a director of the American Forestry Association, and a member of the Oregon Highway Commission. He also championed the establishment of numerous state parks as well as leading the effort to preserve key portions of the John Day Fossil Beds. Sawyer continued as publisher of the Bend Bulletin for 34 years. In 1953, Sawyer put the newspaper up for sale. He received offers from several large newspaper chains, but eventually sold the newspaper to Robert Chandler. To make the purchase affordable, Sawyer only required a $6,000 down payment.[1][2][4][5]

Chandler ran the newspaper for the next 43 years, first as The Bend Bulletin and after 1963 as The Bulletin. During his tenure, Chandler brought new technology into the newspaper’s operation. Soon after he bought the paper, he expanded the photoengraving facilities. In 1956, he replaced the paper’s flatbed press with a new rotary press that printed 13,000 32-page sections per hour. The new press also allowed the paper to print photographs in color.[2][6]

In 1966, The Bulletin moved to a new building on Hill Street in the southern part of Bend. As part of the move, a new offset press was installed. The new press ended the need to produce hot-lead cast type. It also improved the quality of the newspaper’s photographs. That same year, The Bulletin began using wire service photos to supplement photographs taken by the paper’s staff photographers. In the 1970s, the newspaper installed video display terminals to receive electronic feeds from the wire services. The video displays were replaced with computers a few years later. A new Gross Urbanite offset press was installed in 1980. This new system could print 20,000 sections an hour.[2]

In 1988, three reporters were arrested for criminal trespass for attempting to get the records of hotel-motel taxes from the Deschutes County Commissioners.[7] The Commissioners denied access to the records and the reporters were never prosecuted.[7]

The Bulletin created its website,, in 1996.

As of 2014, the newspaper's circulation is 26,986 for the Monday–Friday edition, 27,253 for Saturday, and 27,599 for Sunday. The publisher is John Costa and managing editor is Denise B. Costa.

Notable editors[edit]

Since its founding, The Bulletin has had a number of distinguished publishers, including George P. Putnam, Robert W. Sawyer, and Robert W. Chandler. All three of these newspapermen are honored in the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame. Putnam and Sawyer were inducted in 1980, shortly after the Hall of Fame was created by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Chandler was inducted in 2006.[8]

Phil Brogan was another well-known journalist associated with The Bulletin. He was hired by Sawyer in 1923, and worked as a reporter, writer, and editor for the next 44 years, earning numerous awards for his work. He was also a distinguished historian, geologist, paleontologist, geographer, meteorologist, astronomer, and outdoorsman. In 1964, Brogan wrote East of the Cascades, an important source of information on the geology, geography, and history of Central Oregon.[9][10] Phil Brogan Viewpoint near Lava Butte in Newberry National Volcanic Monument is named in his honor.[11]

Sister publications[edit]

Western Communications, a family-owned corporation, owns eight publications in Oregon and California:


  1. ^ a b c d Brogan, Phil F., East of the Cascades (Third Edition), Binford & Mort, Portland, Oregon, 1965, pp. 213–215.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bend Daily Celebrates Centennial", Oregon Publisher, Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, Portland, Oregon, August 2003, pp. 6–8.
  3. ^ "The Bulletin". Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ Lang, William L., "Robert Sawyer (1880–1959)",The Oregon Encyclopedia, Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  5. ^ Guide to the Robert W. Sawyer Papers, 1903-1959, Northwest Digital Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 2004.
  6. ^ "The broadening of our interests is the reason behind the change in our name". The Bulletin. May 15, 1963. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  7. ^ a b Thomas, Dick. "Opening the public files", The Oregonian, February 23, 1992, Forum, p. C7.
  8. ^ Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine., Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. ^ Friedman, Ralph, A Touch of Oregon, Pars Publishing Company, Portland, Oregon, 1970, pp. 110–116.
  10. ^ United Press International, "Phil Brogan retired editor, dead at 87", Eugene Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, 1 June 1983, p. 2A.
  11. ^ "Lava Lands Visitor Center", Cascades Volcano Observatory, United States Geological Survey, United States Department of Interior, Vancouver, Washington, 7 September 2009.

External links[edit]