|Owner(s)||The McClatchy Company|
|Editor||Colleen McCain Nelson|
|Founded||1857 (as The Daily Bee)|
|Headquarters||1601 Alhambra Boulevard, Suite 100|
Sacramento, California 95816
142,589 Sunday (as of 2020)
The Sacramento Bee is a daily newspaper published in Sacramento, California, in the United States. Since its foundation in 1857, The Bee has become the largest newspaper in Sacramento, the fifth largest newspaper in California, and the 27th largest paper in the U.S. It is distributed in the upper Sacramento Valley, with a total circulation area that spans about 12,000 square miles (31,000 km2): south to Stockton, California, north to the Oregon border, east to Reno, Nevada, and west to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Bee is the flagship of the nationwide McClatchy Company. Its "Scoopy Bee" mascot, created by Walt Disney in 1943, has been used by all three Bee newspapers (in Sacramento, Modesto, and Fresno).
Under the name The Daily Bee, the first issue of the newspaper was published on February 3, 1857, proudly boasting that "the object of this newspaper is not only independence, but permanence". At this time, The Bee was in competition with the Sacramento Union, a newspaper founded in 1851. Although The Bee soon surpassed the Union in popularity, the Union survived until its closure in 1994, leaving The Sacramento Bee to be the longest-running newspaper in the city's history.
The first editor of The Sacramento Bee was John Rollin Ridge, but James McClatchy took over the position by the end of the first week.
Also within a week of its creation, The Bee uncovered a state scandal which led to the impeachment of Know-Nothing California State Treasurer Henry Bates.
In 1925 it absorbed the Sacramento Star, which was founded in 1904.
On March 13, 2006, The McClatchy Company announced its agreement to purchase Knight Ridder, the United States' second-largest chain of daily newspapers. The purchase price of $4.5 billion in cash and stock gave McClatchy 32 daily newspapers in 29 markets, with a total circulation of 3.3 million.
On February 3, 2007, the paper celebrated its 150th anniversary, and a copy of the original issue was included in every newspaper. On February 4, 2007, a 120-page section was included about the paper's history from its founding to today. In 2008, The Sacramento Bee redesigned and changed its layout.
In the fall of 2020, the Bee announced it would be vacating its longtime headquarters and printing plant in Midtown Sacramento at 21st and Q Streets (which it occupied since 1952), citing the need to cut costs and streamline in the wake of declining ad revenues, the rise of online journalism and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which most journalists and employees worked from home. The paper began being printed at the San Francisco Chronicle printing plant in the Bay Area suburb of Fremont. The following spring, the Bee announced the editorial offices were relocating to the Cannery, a business park about a mile east, at Stockton and Alhambra Boulevards; the business park is the redeveloped Libby, McNeill and Libby Cannery, which operated from 1912 to 1982.
The Sacramento Bee has won six Pulitzer Prizes in its history. It has won numerous other awards, including many for its progressive public service campaigns promoting free speech (the Bee often criticized government policy, and uncovered many scandals hurting Californians), anti-racism (The Bee supported the Union during the American Civil War and publicly denounced the Ku Klux Klan), worker's rights (The Bee has a strong history of supporting unionization), and environmental protection (leading numerous tree-planting campaigns and fighting against environmental destruction in the Sierra Nevada).