The News Tribune
Front page of July 1, 2017
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)The McClatchy Company
EditorStephanie Pedersen
Headquarters1950 South State Street
Tacoma, Washington 98405
United States
Circulation30,945 Daily
37,255 Sunday (as of 2020)[1]

The News Tribune is an American daily newspaper based in Tacoma, Washington. It is the second-largest daily newspaper in the state of Washington with a weekday circulation of 30,945 in 2020.[1] With origins dating back to 1883, the newspaper was established under its current form in 1918. Locally owned for 73 years by the Baker family, the newspaper was purchased by McClatchy in 1986.


The newspaper can trace its origins back to the founding of the weekly Tacoma Ledger by R.F. Radebaugh in 1880 and H.C. Patrick, under the firm name Radebaugh & Company. Radebaugh had served on the reportorial staff of the San Francisco Chronicle. He first visited Tacoma in June 1879. Radebaugh grew to know Patrick, who owned and operated a weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz. Radebaugh and Patrick agreed to move the business to Tacoma. In Tacoma Radebaugh was the paper's editor and Patrick served as the business manager. The paper became a success and Radebaugh bought out Patrick's share. The Ledger served as a morning paper until 1937 and its name remained on the nameplate of The News Tribune and Sunday Ledger until 1979.[2]

In 1882, H.C. Patrick left The Ledger and subsequently bought The Pierce County News, another weekly owned by George Mattice which was first published on August 10, 1881; he renamed the latter to The Weekly Tacoma News and doubled its size.[3] Both papers became dailies in 1883; The Ledger started daily publication on April 7, with the News following on September 25.[4][5] In 1898, Radebaugh and Patrick sold their papers to Sam A. Perkins. Radebaugh re-entered the market in 1908 with the debut of The Tacoma Daily Tribune, which began publication on June 12, but he underestimated the capital needed to run the newspaper successfully and sold it in 1910; by early 1912, its insolvency had reached $250,000, with John S. Baker as a principal creditor. Coincidentally, a group including Elbert H. Baker, a cousin of John, and his son Frank S. Baker had just sold the Boston Traveler to the Boston Herald; John traveled to his birthplace of Cleveland and convinced Elbert and Frank to explore a purchase of The Tribune, with Frank supporting the idea when he conducted an investigation in Tacoma. The Bakers purchased the paper and its debts, with Frank first appearing as its publisher on October 26.[6]

The Tribune became successful at the expense of The News and the Tacoma Ledger, with Perkins facing about $400,000 in debt by early 1918; Perkins consulted his creditor, who stated that Tacoma's newspaper market was too saturated and suggested a merger with The Tribune, which Perkins discussed with Frank S. Baker when they coincidentally found each other on a train to Cleveland. Subsequent negotiations resulted in Baker acquiring the two papers from Perkins, with Baker merging The News and The Tribune together to form The Tacoma News Tribune, its first issue appearing on June 17, 1918; The Ledger remained a separate morning and Sunday paper.[7][8]

In 1948, the paper began operating the radio stations KTNT-AM and KTNT-FM, and began operating a television station with the same call letters in 1953. In 1972, KTNT-FM's call letters were changed to KNBQ, which became KBSG in 1988, and KIRO-FM in 2008. Two years later, the television station was sold and its call letters changed to KSTW, which is now an owned-and-operated station of The CW.[citation needed]

In 1979, the newspaper adopted the name Tacoma News Tribune. Its parent bought the Pierce County Herald in 1983. In October 1985, Sacramento-based McClatchy Newspapers reached an agreement with the Baker family to purchase the Tribune Publishing Company's newspaper assets from them for an estimated $112 million, with the transaction completed on August 1, 1986; Viacom purchased the remaining assets, including KNBQ, at the same time.[9]

The News Tribune was published as The Morning News Tribune from April 6, 1987, to October 4, 1993, when "Morning" was dropped from its name.[citation needed] As of 2001, the News Tribune was the third largest newspaper in Washington, with a daily circulation of 130,000.[10]

The newspaper, alongside sister publication The Olympian, was printed at a plant in Tacoma until February 3, 2019.[11] Since that time, the newspapers have been printed at the facilities of The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington.[11] In March 2024, the newspaper announced it will decrease the number of print editions to three a week.[12]


Harriet Hall criticized the News Tribune in Skeptical Inquirer in 2019 for its acceptance of advertisements for health-related products that imitated the presentation of real articles with only a small disclaimer.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "The News Tribune". McClatchy. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Tacoma News Tribune - Northwest ORCA".
  3. ^ Harvey 1962, p. 17
  4. ^ Harvey 1962, p. 18
  5. ^ "The Editor and Publisher 1913-10-25: Vol 13 Iss 19". October 25, 1913. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. ^ Harvey 1962, pp. 45–46
  7. ^ Harvey 1962, p. 53
  8. ^ "The McClatchy Company Newspapers: The News Tribune". The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on July 15, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2006.
  9. ^ McDermott, Terry (June 19, 1986). "Jobs at Tacoma paper up in the air". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 22, 2021 – via NewsBank.
  10. ^ Hudson, Eileen Davis; Davis, Joel (July 16, 2001). "Safeco, Microsoft, and Starbucks rule". Editor & Publisher. ASM Communications. pp. 23–24. Retrieved October 22, 2021 – via the Internet Archive.
  11. ^ a b "Printing change planned for News Tribune, Olympian". The News Tribune. November 29, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  12. ^ Pedersen, Stephanie (March 1, 2024). "The News Tribune to change print days as digital transition evolves". The News Tribune. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  13. ^ Hall, Harriet (2019). "Fake News about Health Products". Skeptical Inquirer. 43 (2): 32–34.