Wendy McCaw

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Wendy P. McCaw
Born Wendy Petrak
Palo Alto, California, United States
Occupation Newspaper publisher
Spouse(s) Craig McCaw

Wendy McCaw is a businesswoman and the owner of the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Early life and career[edit]

She was born Wendy Petrak in Palo Alto, California, in 1951. She attended Stanford University where she majored in history and met Craig McCaw during their sophomore year. They married in 1974, a year after graduation. During their marriage, they grew McCaw Communications into McCaw Cellular, eventually selling to AT&T in 1994. They divorced in 1997 with Wendy, represented by attorney Evan Schwab, receiving a reported $460 million (U.S.) divorce settlement.[citation needed]

Santa Barbara News-Press[edit]

In 2000, McCaw purchased the Santa Barbara News-Press, one of California's oldest newspapers, from The New York Times for $100 million.[1]

In 2006, McCaw was accused of interfering with the newsroom editorial judgment at the News-Press.[2] Five editors and a columnist resigned over the controversy. A number of other publishers and editors have resigned since she purchased the paper in 2000 over differences with McCaw.[1]

In December 2006, McCaw sued Chapman University professor Susan Paterno over her article in the American Journalism Review that had criticized her management of the paper.[3]

As of 2016, staff at the newspaper had dropped from 200, from when she purchased the newspaper, to 20.[1] In 2016, the Santa Barbara News-Press endorsed Donald Trump for president, making it then one of only six newspapers in the country to do so.[1] According to biographer Tyler Sam, there was no question McCaw was "behind the endorsement."[1]


McCaw currently resides in Santa Barbara with her fiancé, Arthur von Wiesenberger.[citation needed]

McCaw has called herself a defender of animal rights.[4] McCaw and her ex-husband Craig McCaw say they gave $3.1 million in donations in the 1990s to help return Keiko, the orca star of "Free Willy," to the wild.[5]


External links[edit]