Healdsburg Tribune sold | Editor and publisher

Press release | Weeklies

In a last-minute reprieve, after announcing that its circulation would end on April 28, a buyer volunteered to continue the legacy of the Healdsburg Tribune, a 157-year-old weekly with its roots in the 1860s. Weeklys , a publishing group that owns more than a dozen weeklies, will take over the Tribune and resume publication immediately.

Weeklys is run by Dan Pulcrano, who founded his first newspaper, the Los Gatos Weekly, in 1982 and opened Metro Silicon Valley three years later. Since then, his company has launched and acquired newspapers in Northern California.

The Tribune will be the 15th newspaper under his ownership and his second in Sonoma County. Pulcrano bought the biweekly Sonoma County Independent in 1994, took it weekly, and renamed it North Bay Bohemian in 2000. Weeklys also publishes the Pacific Sun in neighboring Marin County.

“We’re surprised, pleased and a bit amazed,” said Nancy Dobbs, chair of the board of Sonoma County Local News Initiative (SCLNI), which sold the Tribune to Weeklys. “Dan came forward as he stopped, saying goodbye to our reporting staff and telling the community that we were stepping away from print.”

Indeed, the April 28 edition of the Tribune headlined: “Stop the presses: last edition of the Tribune” on an article retracing the history of the newspaper and bidding farewell to its readership.

“We didn’t want to see a precious newspaper lost. We moved the Bohemian office to Healdsburg in 2020 and love the community,” Pulcrano said. “Residents here have worked hard to maintain community journalism and we intend to give the community a local voice and news every week.”

Healdsburg is a quaint community of 11,340 located in wine country Sonoma County. It retains a historic square and unspoilt farmland while attracting world-class amenities such as the luxury Montage resort and three-star Michelin restaurant Single Thread.

A non-profit organization created to reinvent the business model of small newspapers, SCLNI was not the first attempt to “save the newspaper”. The former owner, Sonoma West Publishers, acquired other newspapers to try to take advantage of economies of scale, it delved into digital journalism, it stopped printing its Cloverdale-area newspapers, Windsor and Sebastopol, and he had modest success with a direct public offering that raised $400,000 in 2018-19.

“It wasn’t enough, nor was the heroic effort of our all-volunteer board to raise funds and write grants,” Dobbs said. “We did our best, as did our staff, but we couldn’t find a way out. Subscriptions, advertisers, grants and donations all helped, but they never caught up with the expenses, and we were ready to wind down our weekly activities and take a few months off to reassess our viability and future. .

Instead, SCLNI and Weeklys worked all weekend to complete the type of transaction that typically takes months to complete. “We are seeing newspapers rebound and grow again as local businesses tire of fighting for small spots on tiny screens. Printed information has an impact. It shapes communities and produces results.

“With this transfer of ownership, we can rest assured that the Tribune is in experienced hands, and we celebrate this opportunity to see a newspaper continue to serve the community. We are grateful to everyone who helped us hold on long enough for this miracle to happen,” Dobbs said.