April 6, 2024
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Santa Barbara News-Press ends home delivery


On Oct. 19, subscribers to the Santa Barbara News-Press opened their paper to find a flier announcing that starting Oct. 24, the daily paper will no longer be delivered directly to their homes and businesses.

The News-Press will still have a print edition, available for sale at newsstands, stores and hotels, and through the U.S. mail.

“Unfortunately labor shortages, higher gas prices, and other current economic challenges have necessitated this change,” the letter to subscribers said.

The News-Press is one of the oldest newspapers in California and one of the longest-running businesses of any kind in the tri-county region. Its origins can be found in the Santa Barbara Post, which began printing in May of 1868. The paper became the News-Press in 1932 under the ownership of Thomas M. Storke.

Its current owner, Wendy McCaw, bought the paper in 2000 from the New York Times Company. Her tenure has been a rocky one, including a mass resignation of top editors in 2006 and a series of battles with unionizing staffers that stretched on for years afterward.

The News-Press was the last daily newspaper in the tri-county region to deliver print editions seven days a week. In 2019, the McClatchy-owned San Luis Obispo Tribune dropped its Saturday print edition, and earlier this year, the Gannett-owned Ventura County Star did the same.

Without home delivery, News-Press subscribers can read online, and will have the difference between a print and online subscription refunded, the paper’s letter to subscribers said. The News-Press is also offering coupons to subscribers so they can pick up the paper at retail locations.

And there is the mail option, though mail delivery would come later in the day than traditional morning newspaper delivery.

“Copies of the [paper] will continue to be delivered to subscribers’ homes through same-day mail delivery,” News-Press Managing Editor Dave Mason said.