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The Desert Sun
TypeDaily newspaper
EditorKate Franco
Founded1927; 97 years ago (1927)
Headquarters750 N. Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs, CA
OCLC number26432381
Free online (1934–1989)
Former logo

The Desert Sun is a local daily newspaper serving Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley in Southern California.


First issued on August 5, 1927, as a weekly six-page newspaper, The Desert Sun grew with the desert communities it serves. It covers local, state, national and world news, and has developed a variety of sections over time.[1]

The newspaper began to publish six days a week in 1955 and had its first Sunday edition on September 8, 1991. Its circulation to date is 50,000 and their distribution range is in regional communities from Beaumont to Twentynine Palms to the Salton Sea.


Since 1988, The Desert Sun has been owned by Gannett. The Indio Daily News was acquired in 1990 and merged with The Desert Sun to become the sole local newspaper. The online website for The Desert Sun uses the same layout template used for most Gannett newspapers.

Headquarters are located in Palm Springs, in an office complex built in 1991 to replace a smaller building. The paper was published locally for most of its existence, but as with many Gannett publications, printing presses were consolidated. On Sunday, September 20, 2020, The Desert Sun ran its printing presses for the final time. Print editions of The Desert Sun are now printed in Phoenix at Gannett's co-owned Arizona Republic.[2]

The Desert Sun published the Desert Post Weekly, a variety entertainment paper available on every Thursday in the distribution range, as well as city-specific publications The Indio Sun, The La Quinta Sun, The Palm Springs Weekend, The Palm Desert Sun and The Cathedral City Sun.

In 2010, the second page of the primary section was known as "7 by 7:30AM", to focus on the editor's selected seven most important stories of the day. The namesake was to estimate how long it takes to read the second page in half an hour (from 7:00 am to 7:30 am). In the 2010s, the Sun published a Spanish-Language weekly El Sol Desierto based in Coachella, California for its Hispanic/Latino readers.

Its main regional competitor is the Riverside Press-Enterprise based in Riverside, California.

Editors and leadership

Greg Burton served as executive editor of the paper from 2011 to 2018, before leaving to become executive editor of The Arizona Republic.

On October 8, 2018, Julie Makinen became the executive editor. Makinen previously worked for The Washington Post, International New York Times, and Los Angeles Times, where she served as film editor and Beijing Bureau chief.[3]

Makinen left that role in early 2023, and was replaced as executive editor by veteran Desert Sun editor Kate Franco. [4]

See also


  1. ^ Makinen, Julie (May 21, 2021). "Desert Sun wins 35 prizes in California Journalism Awards". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  2. ^ Adams, Dan (September 20, 2020). "Stop the Presses! The Desert Sun Ceases Printing at Its Palm Springs Headquarters". KMIR News. Palm Springs, California. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  3. ^ DiPierro, Amy. "Julie Makinen named top editor of Desert Sun". The Desert Sun. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Makinen, Julie. "Desert Sun editor Julie Makinen bids farewell after 4½ years in 'best and toughest' job". The Desert Sun. Retrieved September 30, 2023.

Further reading