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 operating remotely. We can receive mail at

1715 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


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 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. 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 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

Matt Kettmann

Senior Editor


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


Senior 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 reporters 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 Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow.

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Jean Yamamura

Opinions Editor


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.

Terry Ortega

Calendar Editor


Executive Arts Editor

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Ryan Cruz

News Reporter


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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

Creative Department

Ava Talehakimi

Production Designer

Digital Department

Caitlin Kelley

Web Content Manager


Caitlin "Cat" Kelley interned at the Santa Barbara Independent all the way back in 2013, where her beat was basically dad-rock on State Street. Since then, she’s collected a couple degrees — from UC Berkeley, then Columbia Journalism School. Now, she spends all her time on the internet. Good thing she managed to get a job doing that! You can find her music writing in Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, MTV News, Genius, and Forbes. Lurk her Twitter @caitlinrkelley!

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Business Staff

Brandi Rivera

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 Lee

Marketing & Promotions, Manager

Emily Cosentino Lee started with the Santa Barbara Independent in December of 2015. As the marketing and promotions manager, Emily is highly involved in events and special projects including the Santa Barbara Gives! program and Indy Book Club. Emily graduated from UCSB with a bachelors degree in Mathematics / Economics and earned a Technology Management Program certification. When Emily isn’t working she can be found with her nose in a book or in a wine glass.

Tobi Feldman

Accounting Administrator


Tanya Spears Guiliacci

Office Manager/Legal Advertising

Advertising Staff

Sarah Sinclair

Advertising Director


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.

Camille Cimini Fruin

Advertising Representative


Suzanne Cloutier

Advertising Representative


Tonea Songer

Advertising Representative


Graham Brown

Digital Marketing Specialist


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.

Remzi Gokmen


Gail Arnold

Event Columnist


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Starshine Roshell

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Josef Woodard

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Victor Bryant

Advisory Board

In 2018, we brought together a thoughtful, diverse, and involved group together to help us navigate opportunities for keeping impactful journalism alive and well in Santa Barbara.

We envision this Board…

  • as ambassadors for The Indy, advocating for us, informing us of important topics and issues that deserve coverage, and providing insight that will help us improve.
  • Contributing to our vision of our print and digital products, identifying special projects and business opportunities, and creating interactive community initiatives that will further our mission.
  • exploring general ways to support journalistic excellence.

The advisory board will not contribute to political endorsements or editorial positions.

Our 2020 board includes: Eric Cardenas, Ashleigh Davis, Geoff Green, Gail Hansen, Jordan Killebrew, Pat McElroy, Frank Rodriguez, Shelby Sim, Sigrid Wright



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