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What We Do

Founded in 1986, the Santa Barbara Independent is the leading source for news, arts & entertainment, and lifestyle coverage in the greater Santa Barbara area. We print more than 40,000 copies of the paper every Thursday and also publish daily online for more than 250,000 monthly readers at Independent.com.

Our coverage and distribution extends from the heart of Santa Barbara northwest through Goleta and the Santa Ynez Valley, and then southeast through Montecito and Carpinteria, with presence in both Ojai and Ventura as well.

Who We Are

The Independent employs more than 40 people, including award-winning journalists, designers, production staffers, sales representatives, and business executives.

Where We Are

The Santa Barbara Independent is located at:

12 East Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
We are open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Our Story

Founded in 1986, The Santa Barbara Independent is the leading source for news, arts & entertainment, and lifestyle coverage in the greater Santa Barbara area. Every Thursday, we publish more than 40,000 copies of our print edition, which includes the most in-depth calendar of events in the market. Distributed to more than 750 locations throughout the Santa Barbara region, from the Santa Ynez Valley to Carpinteria, with presence in both Ojai and Ventura as well, our ever-popular printed newspaper is read by more than 100,000 people each week, according to audited surveys.

In 2007, we launched Independent.com as a daily source of news, arts, lifestyle, and events coverage. It quickly became the leading online voice in Santa Barbara, and a particularly critical source of information during wildfires, mudslides, oil spills, and other disasters. Today, Independent.com attracts more than 250,000 visitors each month, though that number spikes dramatically during breaking news events. Our online readers hail from far and wide, with nearly 50 percent coming from outside of our print distribution area. In addition to our traditional reporting and photography, Independent.com features videos, polls, contests, and more modern forms of digital engagement.

Over the decades, The Santa Barbara Independent has been honored with most of the newspaper and website awards that matter, winning accolades multiple times from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Editor & Publisher, and many other organizations both regional and national in scope.

Throughout the year, The Santa Barbara Independent supports civic engagement by hosting political forums; fosters recognition of arts and culture with annual awards for theater, dance, and culinary achievements; sponsors numerous community events; and raises money each fall for numerous nonprofits with our Santa Barbara Gives! fundraising initiative.

Editorial Staff

Marianne Partridge

Editor In Chief

marianne@independent.com

"Marianne Partridge is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Santa Barbara Independent, which published its first issue on Thanksgiving Day in 1986. Before moving to Santa Barbara in 1980, Partridge was the editor of the Village Voice, executive editor of Look Magazine, and senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine, where she also served as bureau chief in New York and Los Angeles. She began her career as a secretary at the original Saturday Evening Post, later working there as fiction reader and on the copy desk. She was a reporter in the Los Angeles bureaus of Forbes Magazine and The New York Times in the early '70s and a contributing editor to New West magazine in the early '80s. Partridge was born in 1945 in New York City. As a child, her family traveled extensively throughout the country to racetracks where her father trained a stable of thoroughbred horses. A graduate of Bard College with a degree in social philosophy, she held a myriad of jobs before settling on journalism, including stints as a nanny, a waitress, a social worker, a political scheduler, a founding member of the Los Angeles Women's Improvisational Theater, and a rejected candidate for the Peace Corps. Partridge is a co-owner of The Santa Barbara Independent, which was founded in 1986. She has been married for nearly 40 years to Santa Barbara cattle rancher Jim Poett, with whom she has raised their two children, and many dogs, cats, and horses. "

Nick Welsh

Executive Editor

nick@independent.com

Nick Welsh is a cartoonist trapped in a writer's body. During his long career at The Santa Barbara Independent, he has yet to learn how to draw. Nor, in fact, has he ever learned to type. Even so, he manages to pound out a relentless stream of news articles every week on a wide range of subjects. In addition, he writes the Angry Poodle column.

>> See Stories By Nick

Michelle Drown

Senior Editor

michelle@independent.com

Matt Kettmann

Senior Editor

matt@independent.com

A fifth generation Californian originally from San Jose, Matt Kettmann started at The Santa Barbara Independent in 1999, working as a proofreader, news reporter, and pop culture editor before becoming senior editor in 2006. In addition to covering Santa Barbara for the past two decades, the UCSB grad has tracked down stories in such places as Bolivia, Belize, Costa Rica, Uganda, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, France, Spain, Mexico, and the wartorn, officially unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a 2004 adventure that helped launch his wine writing career. He's also a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast, reviewing the wines and covering the culture of the Central Coast and Southern California, and has written about a variety of topics for the New York Times, TIME Magazine, Smithsonian, Wine Spectator, Sunset, and other publications large and small. For an archive of his work, see mattkettmann.com. For his wine reviews on Wine Enthusiast, see winemag.com/taster/matt-kettmann.

>> See stories by Matt

Tyler Hayden

Senior Editor

tyler@independent.com

"News editor Tyler Hayden started at The Santa Barbara Independent as an intern in the spring of 2009 while studying English and editing at UCSB. He was hired as an associate editor that fall and became the newsroom majordomo soon after. Since then, he's spent his days editing and writing stories, wrangling interns, and helping manage independent.com. Tyler regularly contributes to a number of Santa Barbara and national news organizations, and he and the Independent's other writers have received multiple awards from editor & Publisher, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, most recently for their coverage of the 2014 Isla Vista murders and the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill."

Read Stories

Jean Yamamura

Opinions Editor

jean@independent.com

A transplant from Ventura County, Jean Yamamura arrived on the Independent's doorstep in 1996, joining the paper that had been a tonic at lunchtime every Thursday for years. Between then and graduation from UCSB in comparative literature in 1982, she had worked in publishing, with a sideways slide into the law for a time. The past decades have been spent raising children, chickens, and dogs, and copy editing, managing the opinions page, and news reporting.

Blanca Garcia

Delaney Smith

Paul Wellman

Photography Editor

paul@independent.com

Paul Wellman is the staff photographer and photo editor for The Santa Barbara Independent. He got his start at the weekly newspaper in 2001 as an amateur photographer working part-time in the editorial production department scanning photos and doing basic page layout. The occasional submission of images turned into an occasional assignment, and 18 months later, he took over the full-time job of staff photographer. Paul and his camera bag have since covered many miles of Santa Barbara County and beyond, shooting concerts and court cases, pop stars and politicians, portraits and protests, spot news and sports, festivals and fires. His work has also been featured in dozens of publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and National Geographic.

Terry Ortega

Calendar Editor

terry@independent.com

Amber White

Calendar Assistant

Ethan Stewart

Editor at Large

Copy Department

Jackson Friedman

Jackson Friedman came to the Santa Barbara Independent in 2010, starting as a copy editor before moving up to his current position as copy chief. Born and raised in Santa Barbara County, he studied English and professional editing and tutored writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his BA with highest honors.

Tessa Reeg

Copy Editor

Digital Department

Erika Carlos

Digital Editor

erika@independent.com

Before joining the Indy, Erika worked as a part-time and freelance digital media artist at UC Santa Barbara. An activist and feminist, Erika is passionate about contributing to creative and investigative work that informs and strengthens the Santa Barbara community. Outside of her work, you can find her reading, camping, traveling, or binge-watching Netflix for hours at a time. She also loves cats and tacos.

Nancy Rodriguez

Digital Assistant

nancy@independent.com

Maya Chiodo

Digital Intern

Harvest Keeney

Multimedia Intern

Creative Department

Caitlin Fitch

Creative Director

Alex Drake

Graphic Designer

Ava Talehakimi

Production Designer

Elaine Madsen

Graphic Designer

Ricky Barajas

Graphic Designer

Ben Greenberg

Graphic Designer

Business Staff

Brandi Rivera

Publisher

Brandi Rivera started with The Independent in March of 2008. She has served as the company's CFO, Business Manager and in August 2017 became The Independent's first female Publisher. A Santa Barbara "local" by way of UCSB, where she earned both her Bachelors and Human Resource Management certification, Brandi appreciates how involved The Independent is in the community. The staff is like a giant family to her and she feels like it is her duty to preserve the role of The Independent in the Santa Barbara community for years to come. Brandi completed her MBA from Pepperdine University in December of 2017 and in January 2018 welcomed her first son, Elijah Lee Bryant into the world. In her ever dwindling spare time she enjoys reading, running, watching movies and rooting for her favorite sport teams. #GoDodgers #GoLakers #GoNiners.

Emily Cosentino

Marketing Manager

Tobi Feldman

Accounting Administrator

tobi@independent.com

Tanya Spears Guiliacci

Office Manager/Legal Advertising

Advertising Staff

Sarah Sinclair

Advertising Director

Supporter Format – $500 per year

Sarah Sinclair is a dynamic leader in the fields of newspaper advertising and hi-tech business management. She is currently the director of advertising at the Santa Barbara Independent, which she describes as the best job in the best community in the world. She also writes a weekly column called "Make Myself at Home" for The Independent's real estate section. Throughout her career, Sarah has been involved with many charitable organizations, currently serving on boards of directors for Jodi House, American Heart Association, Santa Barbara’s Downtown Organization, and as the 2018 chairperson of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors’ fundraising committee. Sarah has been honored with community and industry awards including the WCAA Charles Horn Award, and the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors’ community service award and 2017 Affiliate Member of the Year award. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Sarah enjoys travel, baseball, photography, and daily beach walks with her dog Scout.

Rachel Gantz

Sales Representative

rachel@independent.com

A Santa Barbara local, Rachel began at The Independent in October of 2013 as an advertising designer in the production department. She had just graduated and moved back from CSU Long Beach, and was thrilled to be back in her hometown. In April of 2015, Rachel was hired as an account executive on the sales team. A creative herself, Rachel is able to apply her artist & designer skill-set with her clients and their marketing needs. Rachel loves animals, especially cats. She has an all-black rescue kitty named Wiley. She also volunteers with two local non profits, ResQcats & Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP). Traveling is another favorite past time. She also loves painting, kickboxing, watching sports, and going to music festivals and shows.

Camille Cimini Fruin

Advertising Representative

Suzanne Cloutier

Advertising Representative

Tonea Songer

Advertising Representative

Graham Brown

Sales Administrator

With nearly 20 years of PR, marketing and media experience, Graham Brown brings her unique set of skills to the sales administrator position at the Indy.

Stefanie McGinnis

Advertising Representative

Antonio Morales

Advertising Representative

Contributors

Gail Arnold

Event Columnist

gail@independent.com

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