The Sacramento Bee

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The Sacramento Bee
Front page of The Sacramento Bee,
April 29, 2024
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)The McClatchy Company
EditorColleen McCain Nelson[1]
Founded1857 (as The Daily Bee)[2]
Headquarters1601 Alhambra Boulevard, Suite 100
Sacramento, California 95816
Circulation90,244 Daily
142,589 Sunday (as of 2020)[3]
OCLC number37706143

The Sacramento Bee is a daily newspaper published in Sacramento, California, in the United States. Since its foundation in 1857, The Bee has become the largest newspaper in Sacramento, the fifth largest newspaper in California, and the 27th largest paper in the U.S.[4] It is distributed in the upper Sacramento Valley, with a total circulation area that spans about 12,000 square miles (31,000 km2): south to Stockton, California, north to the Oregon border, east to Reno, Nevada, and west to the San Francisco Bay Area.[5][6]

The Bee is the flagship of the nationwide McClatchy Company.[5] Its "Scoopy Bee" mascot,[7][8][9] created by Walt Disney in 1943, has been used by all three Bee newspapers (in Sacramento,[10] Modesto, and Fresno).[5]


Under the name The Daily Bee, the first issue of the newspaper was published on February 3, 1857, proudly boasting that "the object of this newspaper is not only independence, but permanence".[5] At this time, The Bee was in competition with the Sacramento Union, a newspaper founded in 1851.[2] Although The Bee soon surpassed the Union in popularity, the Union survived until its closure in 1994, leaving The Sacramento Bee to be the longest-running newspaper in the city's history.

The first editor of The Sacramento Bee was John Rollin Ridge,[11] but James McClatchy took over the position by the end of the first week.

Also within a week of its creation, The Bee uncovered a state scandal which led to the impeachment of Know-Nothing California State Treasurer Henry Bates.[12]

In 1925 it absorbed the Sacramento Star, which was founded in 1904.[13]

21st century[edit]

On March 13, 2006, The McClatchy Company announced its agreement to purchase Knight Ridder, the United States' second-largest chain of daily newspapers. The purchase price of $4.5 billion in cash and stock gave McClatchy 32 daily newspapers in 29 markets, with a total circulation of 3.3 million.[14][15]

On February 3, 2007, the paper celebrated its 150th anniversary, and a copy of the original issue was included in every newspaper. On February 4, 2007, a 120-page section was included about the paper's history from its founding to today. In 2008, The Sacramento Bee redesigned and changed its layout.[5][16]

In the fall of 2020, the Bee announced[17] it would be vacating its longtime headquarters and printing plant in Midtown Sacramento at 21st and Q Streets (which it occupied since 1952), citing the need to cut costs and streamline in the wake of declining ad revenues, the rise of online journalism and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which most journalists and employees worked from home. The paper began being printed at the San Francisco Chronicle printing plant in the Bay Area suburb of Fremont. The following spring, the Bee announced[18] the editorial offices were relocating to the Cannery, a business park about a mile east, at Stockton and Alhambra Boulevards; the business park is the redeveloped Libby, McNeill and Libby Cannery, which operated from 1912 to 1982.


The Sacramento Bee has won six Pulitzer Prizes in its history.[19] It has won numerous other awards, including many for its progressive public service campaigns promoting free speech (the Bee often criticized government policy, and uncovered many scandals hurting Californians), anti-racism (The Bee supported the Union during the American Civil War and publicly denounced the Ku Klux Klan), worker's rights (The Bee has a strong history of supporting unionization), and environmental protection (leading numerous tree-planting campaigns and fighting against environmental destruction in the Sierra Nevada).[20]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "McClatchy names Colleen McCain Nelson as new Sacramento Bee, California editor". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, CA. January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Alfano, Anthony (January 23, 2016). "The Alfano Group: 20 Things you probably didn't know about The Sacramento Bee newspaper". Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "McClatchy | Markets". February 3, 2022. Archived from the original on February 3, 2022. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  4. ^ "2007 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation" (PDF). BurrellesLuce. March 31, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d e History of The Sacramento Bee from the newspaper's website
  6. ^ Profile of The Sacramento Bee Archived July 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine from The McClatchy Company website
  7. ^ Lessons from Scoopy Bee, from McClatchy editor, Howard Weaver
  8. ^ [bare URL image file]
  9. ^ [bare URL image file]
  10. ^ "Working at The Sacramento Bee". Glassdoor. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Carolyn Thomas Foreman (September 1936). "Edward W. Bushyhead and John Rollin Ridge, Cherokee Editors in California". Chronicles of Oklahoma. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  12. ^ Richardson, Darcy G. Others: Third-Party Politics from the Nation's Founding to the Rise and Fall of the Greenback-Labor Party. iUniverse: 2004; p. 206.
  13. ^ "About The Sacramento star". Library of Congress. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  14. ^ Katharine Q. Seelye and Andrew Ross Sorkin, "Newspaper Chain Agrees to a Sale for $4.5 Billion", The New York Times, March 13, 2006.
  15. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q.; Sorkin, Andrew Ross (March 13, 2006). "Newspaper Chain Agrees to a Sale for $4.5 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Sacramento Bee, January 1, 2008
  17. ^ Sorich, Sonya (September 25, 2020). "Sacramento Bee says it's leaving 2100 Q St". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  18. ^ Anderson, Mark (April 24, 2021). "Sacramento Bee leases space at The Cannery business park". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  19. ^ "The Sacramento Bee's six Pulitzer Prizes". Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, CA. 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  20. ^ "Award-winning coverage that makes a difference". The Sacramento Bee. December 8, 2006. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  21. ^ Venteicher, Wes (December 4, 2018). "Gil Durán named to new post as California opinion editor". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  22. ^ "MANOPAUSE: Experts seeking treatments for middle-age male testosterone deficiencies". Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  23. ^ Pierleoni, Allen (October 27, 2014). "Between the Lines: Spooky tales for Halloween". Retrieved August 5, 2018 – via Sacramento Bee.

External links[edit]