A history of innovation

While a lot has changed during our evolution, our passion for finding innovative ways to connect with our communities has never wavered.

The first issue of The Daily Bee, 1857

What began in 1857 as a four-page newspaper in the dusty streets of Sacramento, California has grown into a digital network spanning local markets from California to Florida, from Washington state to Washington D.C.

Today we find ourselves more connected and more nimble—and our role as truth-tellers and protectors of independent voices more vital than ever.

Over 150 years of growing stronger

It all started on February 3, 1857, when James McClatchy helped launch the company’s first newspaper in the wake of the California Gold Rush. While other papers of the time came and went, The Daily Bee—later renamed The Sacramento Bee—persevered through an independent approach to journalism and a commitment to quality.

See the cover of our first edition from February 3, 1857 View

The Bee family expanded with the founding of The Fresno Bee in 1922 and the purchase of The Modesto Bee in 1927.

What followed was more than a century of growth, fueled by the acquisition of quality media companies in growing markets across the country, including the 2006 purchase of Knight Ridder, which made McClatchy, at that time, the second largest newspaper publisher in the United States. In 2020, McClatchy transitioned to private ownership under Chatham Asset Management. Along the way, the work of journalists from our media companies has been honored with many awards, including more than 50 Pulitzer Prizes.

Today, McClatchy operates a leading local media company in 30 U.S. markets, connecting with our communities through print, digital, mobile apps, and more.

The ways in which we deliver award-winning content will continue to evolve, but our dedication to quality journalism, community service, and free expression will never change.

Our company has changed more in the last 3 years than it has in the past 156. Kevin McClatchy, Board Chairman
Jill Toyoshiba Kansas City Star