The Santa Barbara News-Press slimmed down its operation again, the daily announced on November 2, dropping the Sunday edition and instead folding the content into the Saturday paper. One week prior, it had announced it would cease delivery by carrier and go to same-day U.S. mail delivery, with the exception of the Sunday paper. As with all dailies, the Sunday paper traditionally is the largest and carries the greatest amount of advertising.
Calling the switch a “new chapter in local news coverage,” the paper stated that Saturday’s edition would add new sections devoted to business and real estate. Breaking news would appear as well, it claimed, and online. The weekend edition would be delivered on Saturdays through the U.S. mail. Asked for details about the change, Managing Editor Dave Mason declined to comment.
The spiraling diminution of the daily paper reflects the recent lifecycle of “dinosaur” print media as a whole and the self-inflicted wounds by owner Wendy McCaw in particular. Since she bought it in 2000, the paper has gone from being a robust daily covering Santa Barbara’s small metropolis to the “News-Press Mess” of fired reporters, lawsuits with the National Labor Relations Board, and a boycott by subscribers, which all started when McCaw disciplined the news staff over a Montecito development story that contained an address, that of Rob Lowe, violating a nonexistent policy: “Thou shall not report on the addresses of local celebrities.”
Correction: The News-Press‘s announcement that it is ending its Sunday edition came one week after the cancellation of delivery by carrier, not two as stated in an earlier version of this story.