SUNNYSIDE — In 1986, Eagle Newspapers, Incorporated purchased and merged two-family-owned newspapers and established the Daily Sun News.
Thirty-two years later, the final edition of the paper prints on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Corporate officials announced the paper’s closure this week, along with the immediate sale of the Sunnyside media group to Andy McNab, who has been serving as the interim publisher and overseeing the paper’s direct-mail Sun News Shopper and digital content platforms.
On Dec. 1, McNab will acquire sole ownership and re-introduce the Lower Valley’s largest newspaper as the Sunnyside Sun, a weekly publication printing each Wednesday, beginning Dec. 5.
An online, digital news edition, featuring community updates five days per week, and a strong social media presence, will be launched at the same time. The business office will remain at 600 S. Sixth St. in Sunnyside’s historic downtown.
McNab is a former publisher and successful business owner of independent newspapers in Goldendale and Grangeville, Idaho, where he resides with his wife Lynda.
“I retired after 40-plus years in the publishing world, prior to being asked to serve as interim publisher this past July. I saw a newspaper that definitely needed to reconnect with its community – a community where I wanted to do my part in making a difference,” he said.
As the newspaper and media industries continue to evolve, McNab is excited about his leadership role in delivering engaging, valley news and proactive information, along with innovative, multimedia content to a diverse and growing audience.
“Producing, printing and distributing a local newspaper is uniquely challenging these days,” McNab stated. “As the demand for digital services continue to expand, we look forward to cultivating an integrated relationship with our readers and those focused upon advancing their business outreach goals by utilizing the Sun to produce a full spectrum of innovative and advertising solutions.”
Subscribers should expect to see uninterrupted delivery of the Sunnyside Sun and those with paid subscriptions will be offered new options for their prepayment of the former three-day-per-week schedule.
New subscribers will receive an introductory offer at a discounted price from the annual subscription rate of $42.
At the same time, direct delivery of the newspaper will be distributed through the post office.
“Every day is an opportunity to produce a community newspaper our readers and audience have asked from us. A newspaper they can count on,” recently appointed news and multi-media editor Patrick Shelby expressed.
“We strive to make a positive difference throughout the valley and one that will earn our readers’ trust moving forward,” he said. “I am thrilled to be here and proud to be part of a new leadership team.”
Shelby has joined the publication’s management staff, which includes general manager Job Wise, media director Ileana Martinez, and operations and office manager Debbie Guerrero.
From the beginning of the 20th century, more than two generations of the Hillyer family controlled the weekly Sunnyside Sun during their course of the family’s 80-year ownership. The family sold it to publisher and editor Olaf Elze in 1979.
In November of 1986, after purchasing the Sunnyside Sun from Elze and the Daily News from area native Tom Lanctot, both papers were merged together, and the Daily Sun News was established.
After 118 years of combined, newspaper legacy in the Lower Valley, the weekly Sunnyside Sun has returned home to embrace its 80-year history of individual ownership where the roots of community journalism remain strong.