Founded in 1987, Sound Publishing, Inc. is the largest community news organization in Washington State with dailies and community news outlets in Alaska.
Sound believes that independent, fact-based reporting and holding those in power accountable are essential to healthy communities and a healthy democracy. For over a century, our flagship titles have been elevating the voices of our communities.
Learn more about the evolution of Sound Publishing, Inc. below.
The company that will become Sound Publishing begins operations in Washington state with purchase of the Whidbey News-Times, South Whidbey Record and Naval Air Station Whidbey Crosswind weekly newspapers on Whidbey Island. They are purchased from longtime Washington newspaperman Wallie Valentine Funk, who ran them as the Whidbey Press Newspaper Group. The acquisitions will be the first of many well-established and respected community newspaper titles in Washington; publication of the News-Times dates to 1891, when it was founded as the Island County Times.1987
While still known as Whidbey Press, the company puts down roots in Kitsap County with the purchase of the Port Orchard Independent, followed soon by the acquisition of the Bainbridge Island Review, the Central Kitsap Reporter (Silverdale) and North Kitsap Herald (Poulsbo). The newspapers come with a loyal, multi-generational readership, having been established in their communities as early as 1890. With these purchases, the growing company sets up its corporate headquarters alongside new printing operations on Bainbridge Island.1988
To reflect its growing regional reach, the company is rechristened Sound Publishing. The Islands’ Sounder (serving Orcas Island since 1964) becomes the company’s first community newspaper acquisition in the San Juan Islands. Soon after the purchase, the Sounder adds a Friday Harbor edition and expands coverage to include nearby San Juan Island.1994
Sound purchases the Vashon Island Beachcomber, its first acquisition in King County. The newspaper was founded in 1957 by two young newsmen who went head to head with the island's other paper, the News-Record, a community publication dating to 1919. Within a year, the Beachcomber purchased the competition and became the island's primary news source, which it remains to this day.1995
Sound’s printing capacity expands significantly with the development of a new press facility in Burlington, Skagit County, along the I-5 corridor. Sound also purchases the Tacoma Daily Index, which has provided local news and legal advertising to the Pierce County community since 1890 (originally as the Daily Mortgage and Lien Record).1997
When the Seattle Times Co. decides to cease publication of the Federal Way News title, Sound sees an opportunity to expand its King County operations and serve readers in that market. Ten days later, the new Federal Way Mirror newspaper is launched; within 13 months it becomes the newspaper of record for the City of Federal Way. In October, Sound purchases its second San Juan Islands newspaper, the Friday Harbor Journal. The newspaper, whose publication dates to 1906, is rechristened The Journal of the San Juan Islands. Sound also establishes websites for each of its community news properties, extending the company’s reach into the digital information realm.1998
Sound launches another new title, the Bremerton Patriot newspaper, to serve readers in Kitsap County’s largest city. This startup gives Sound a community newspaper covering every school district in Kitsap County.1999
Sound is awarded the civilian-enterprise contract to publish the Navy’s military base newspaper, the Northwest Navigator, to serve the active-duty naval communities at Naval Base Bremerton and Subbase Bangor in Kitsap County, and at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. With this contract in hand, Sound’s Whidbey Crosswind and Kitsap Navy News titles are retired.2000
The Journal of the San Juan Islands was founded as the Friday Harbor Journal in 1906. Its founder, O.G. Wall, launched the weekly newspaper with the ambition of helping San Juan County, made up entirely of islands, and its thinly populated farming communities to develop and improve. In 2001, the Journal was purchased by Sound Publishing who shifted the focus to San Juan Island's own personality. The Town of Friday Harbor, the island’s commercial core and cultural hub, vibrates with a rhythm that accentuates its small-town charm, while offering a full array of choices to dine and shop, parks in which to relax and activities that will enlighten and entertain.2001
Kingston Community News is added to the roster of publications in Kitsap County. Established in 1984, the title brings a loyal readership among the half-dozen North Kitsap communities it serves.2005
The largest growth year for Sound Publishing since its inception begins with acquisition of the Nickel Publications, popular classified advertising shoppers in Washington (where they appear under the Little Nickel banner) and Oregon (where they are known as Nickel Ads). The publications are distributed up and down the I-5 corridor, giving Sound new reach from the Canadian border south to Eugene, Ore., and adding weekly print distribution of more than 241,500 copies.2006
Sound expands again a month later with the purchase of King County Publications, bringing into the fold community newspapers in Bellevue, Mercer Island, Redmond, Renton, Kent, Auburn and the Snoqualmie Valley. Sound also purchases the Kirkland Reporter weekly from another Seattle-area publisher. With these acquisitions, Sound triples its footprint in the Puget Sound region and becomes the largest publisher of community newspapers in Washington state.2006
Sound Publishing completes its new Everett Press facility, a regional printing center that consolidates six separate printing plants (Kent, Burlington, Oak Harbor, Lynnwood, Marysville and Bainbridge Island) in one centralized location and creates one of the largest and most complete printeries in the Northwest.2007
The acquisition of the Bellingham and Wenatchee Business Journals gives Sound its easternmost and northernmost publications to date. In the same purchase, Sound also acquires the Marysville Globe and Arlington Times, community newspapers serving the Snohomish County area. They are two of the longest-running newspapers in Washington, having published weekly since 1890 (Arlington) and 1892 (Marysville). In King County, the Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter and Bothell-Kenmore reporters are launched to serve readers in those burgeoning markets. To meet the demands of rapid company growth, Sound moves its corporate headquarters from Bainbridge Island to Poulsbo in Kitsap County.2007
Sound acquires the Enumclaw and Bonney Lake Courier-Herald newspapers, further expanding operations in King County. The Courier-Herald brand is well known in the community and reflects the Depression-era merger of two local newspapers, the Courier (est. 1900) and Herald (est. 1908). To manage the fast-growing operations on the Eastside, Sound establishes a corporate office in Bellevue.2008
Seeing an opportunity to serve residents around Sea-Tac Airport and Southcenter Mall, Sound begins publishing the Tukwila Reporter. The monthly publication begins with a distribution of more than 10,000 direct-mailed copies to area homes, becoming the Tukwila community’s first-ever local newspaper.2010
Sound expands west onto the Olympic Peninsula with purchase of the Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles) and the Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum community weeklies. The Peninsula Daily News has been a part of the Port Angeles community since 1916, and becomes the only daily newspaper currently owned by the company. Sound also acquires the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune (founded 1905), in north central Washington near the Canadian border. As part of that transaction, the Wenatchee Business Journal is handed off to another local publisher.2011
The Veterans Life startup launches in Kitsap County, while the Whidbey Crosswind returns to Whidbey Island with a new editorial focus on veterans’ issues and the interests of military retirees.2012
Sound purchases the Whidbey Examiner community weekly in Coupeville on Whidbey Island. Founded in 1995 as The Coupeville Examiner and based in the Island County seat, the Examiner is the official newspaper of Island County, and carries all legal notices published by the county government.2012
Sound starts the new year by widening its webbed footprint with the purchase of the Seattle Weekly from Village Voice Media Holdings. Founded in 1976 by Darrell Oldham and David Brewster, the Seattle Weekly is known for political and governmental reporting as well as music and arts coverage. It publishes a number of special issues throughout the year on topics such as a spring and fall arts guide, dining guide, special coverage of the Seattle Independent Film Festival and Bumbershoot. The publication has been a leader in shaping Seattle for many decades and will be for many to come.2013
The Daily Herald, La Raza & the Herald Business Journal join the Sound Publishing Family in the Spring of 2013. The Daily Herald brings more than 100 years of service to Snohomish County as a provider of local news, information, and advertising; La Raza reaches Hispanic communities from Washington’s State Capitol to the Canadian Border; and the Herald Business Journal features Snohomish County business and technology news.2013
Sound expands to the enchanting coast of Washington with the purchase of six publications. This acquisition includes the Daily World, in Aberdeen, the Vidette, North Coast News, South Beach Bulletin, On The Harbor and East County News. All six papers have long served Grays Harbor County—some as early as the 1880s—as trusted sources for community news, information about popular tourist destinations and entertainment.2014
Sound expands to Alaska with the purchase of 3 publications. This acquisition includes The Juneau Empire in Juneau, Homer News in Homer and the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai.2018
In 2021 Sound acquired a massive Goss/Manroland Universal 70 press from Color Web Printers. The 220-foot long, 442-ton press took 55 semi-trucks to transport to its new home in Lakewood, Washington. The 11-towers are to be operational by July/August of 2022.
It will handle the company’s current portfolio of more than 30 daily newspapers and community weeklies, plus commercial clients. In addition to The Daily Herald, the company prints The Daily World of Aberdeen, the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles, the Bellingham Herald, and the Centralia Chronicle.Read More2022