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Weekly Group Purchases Marin County’s Pacific Sun
Half-century-old alt weekly is sixth title acquired by weekly group in past 14 months; group circulation now at 190,000
By: Metro Newspapers
The Pacific Sun will continue to operate as an independent nameplate. The Bohemian will eliminate overlapping circulation in Marin County and increase distribution in Sonoma and Napa counties. “Our plan is to improve product quality, reach and advertiser response for all of our print publications and digital services,” Bohemian publisher Rosemary Olson said. Olson will take the role of publisher for the Pacific Sun.
Founded in 1963 by Merrill and Joann Grohman, the Pacific Sun was sold in 1966 to Steve McNamara of Mill Valley, who operated the newspaper for more than three decades. McNamara sold the paper in 2004 to Palo Alto-based community weekly publisher Embarcadero Publishing. It sold the Sun in 2012 to Embarcadero co-founder, Robert Heinen, who will leave the publication after selling it to Metro
“I am pleased that the Pacific Sun is in good hands, and that it will continue to grow and flourish” Heinen said. “We can look forward to exciting changes, and a publication that will continue to reflect and provide perspective on what’s happening in Marin County for years to come.”
The North Bay Bohemian was founded as The Paper in 1979 and renamed the Sonoma County Independent in 1993. The Independent, then a semi-monthly publication owned by John Boland and Jim Carroll, was sold in 1994 to Metro Newspapers. The North Bay weekly has operated under the Bohemian nameplate since 2000, when it began distribution in Napa and Marin counties.
In addition to the Bohemian and the Pacific Sun, Metro Newspapers publishes two other alternative weeklies: Good Times Santa Cruz and Metro Silicon Valley.
Metro last year purchased two traditional weeklies in southern Santa Clara County and one in San Benito County. In April, Metro announced the acquisition of the monthly Out & About magazine. Together, the eight publications have circulation of 190,000 and estimated readership of approximately half a million Bay Area residents concentrated in some of the region’s most desirable communities. More than half of this readership is in the two counties with the West Coast’s highest per capita income: Santa Clara County and Marin.
“Unlike dailies, which have been hollowed out by digital disruption, free publications in local markets do well when publishers emphasize local coverage and don’t cut corners on quality,” said Metro CEO Dan Pulcrano. “We’ve invested heavily in writing, reporting, photography, design, contemporary news racks, efficient business systems, digital media and customer service when others were cutting back. We intend to continue to do so because regionally based, owner-operated media is important to communities, and we believe in its future.”
About Metro Newspapers
Metro operates four northern California alternative weeklies: Metro Silicon Valley, Good Times (Santa Cruz), North Bay Bohemian (Sonoma & Napa counties) and Pacific Sun (Marin County).
Its traditional weeklies, dating back as far as 1868, include the Gilroy Dispatch, the Morgan Hill Times and San Benito County’s Free Lance.
The privately-held company is headed by Executive Editor and CEO Dan Pulcrano and is based in San Jose. Visit http://www.metronews.com/
Elisabeth Handler/Handler PR