Annie Wells of the Press Democrat won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography "for her dramatic photograph of a local firefighter rescuing a teenager from raging floodwaters." The Press Democrat staff also won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for "[f]or lucid and tenacious coverage of historic wildfires that ravaged the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County."
|The Press Democrat|
The February 28, 2012 front page of
The Press Democrat
|Owner(s)||Sonoma Media Investments LLC|
(as the Sonoma Democrat)
|Headquarters||427 Mendocino Avenue|
Santa Rosa, California 95401
United States Coordinates:
It was founded in 1897 by Ernest L. Finley who merged his Evening Press and Thomas Thompson's Sonoma Democrat (originally created as a voice for the Democratic Party).
Finley also bought the Santa Rosa Republican in 1927 and merged it with the Press Democrat in 1948.
Ernest L. Finley, his wife Ruth, daughter Ruth, and son-in-law Evert Person owned and published the "PD" between 1897 and 1985. Evert and Ruth Finley Person sold the paper to The New York Times Company in 1985.
According to a readership survey, the most popular feature in the newspaper for many years was Gaye LeBaron's community column. LeBaron produced more than 8,000 columns between 1961 and her semi-retirement in 2001, writing on human interest, cultural events, ethnic history, and local politics.
It is currently owned by Sonoma Media Investments, LLC after being purchased from Halifax Media Group. The New York Times Company bought the paper from the Finley family in 1985, as well as the North Bay Business Journal, and the Petaluma Argus-Courier which were also purchased by the Halifax Media Holdings LLC. Halifax resold its California papers at the end of 2012 to a local ownership group that includes Douglas H. Bosco.
Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting (2001–2025)