Sonoma Index-Tribune

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Sonoma Index-Tribune
Sonoma Index-Tribune.jpg
Offices of the Sonoma Index-Tribune in 2020
TypeTwice-weekly paper
Owner(s)Sonoma Media Investments
Founder(s)Benjamin Frank
PublisherEmily Charrier
EditorJason Walsh
Founded1879; 141 years ago (1879)
CitySonoma, California
CountryUnited States
Sister newspapersThe Press Democrat, Argus-Courier
OCLC number11429595

The Sonoma Index-Tribune is a community newspaper published twice a week in Sonoma, California. The newspaper was published by four generations of the same family for 128 years, but is now owned by a group of local media investors.


The Sonoma Index was founded in 1879 by Benjamin Frank.[1][2]The newspaper changed ownership about a dozen times in its first five years.[3]

It was purchased in 1884 by Harry Granice, who gave the paper its current name and brought stability.[4] Granice published and edited the newspaper until his death in 1915.

His eldest daughter, Celeste Granice Murphy, then took control of the paper, purchasing it with her husband Walter Murphy from her father's estate. Celeste Granice was already an experienced newspaper editor, who had built the San Rafael Daily Independent from a weekly to a daily paper. After a merger, that paper became the Marin Independent Journal in 1948, which is still published. The couple ran the Sonoma newspaper with Celeste serving as editor and Walter as business manager until 1949, when they sold it to Celeste's nephew Robert M. Lynch, and retired. Celeste Granice Murphy is now a member of the Hall of Fame of the California Press Foundation.[3]

Robert Lynch was born in San Francisco in 1920 and had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He built the newspaper to 65 employees and expanded the circulation from 2000 to 12,000. He served as president of both the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the California Press Association, and died in 2003. [5]

Lynch's sons Bill Lynch and Jim Lynch operated as co-publishers until they retired in 2012 and sold the newspaper to outside investors. Four generations of the family had operated the Sonoma Index-Tribune for 128 years.[6]

Current ownership and management[edit]

The newspaper is now owned by Sonoma Media Investments, LLC.[7] The publisher is Emily Charrier and the editor is Jason Walsh.[8]


  1. ^ The Sonoma Index-Tribune (wall plaque). Sonoma, California: Native Sons of the Golden West. 2003. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  2. ^ Sherer Mathes, Valerie; Moll Smith, Diane (2004). Sonoma Valley. Arcadia Publishing Company. p. 34. ISBN 9780738529431.
  3. ^ a b "Celeste Granice Murphy, The Sonoma Index-Tribune, 1882-1962". Hall of Fame. California Press Foundation. 2002. Retrieved February 15, 2020. After fully giving vent to her pet peeve – 'the acquiescence of American womanhood to male domination' – she would go to her desk and write an editorial. Let it be said here that her editorials were not without force or punch. Miss Granice had a natural flair for adjectives. This added piquancy to her writings.
  4. ^ An Illustrated History of Sonoma County, California: Containing a History of the County of Sonoma from the Earliest Period of Its Occupancy to the Present Time. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1889. p. 282.
  5. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (September 25, 2003). "Robert Lynch -- owner of Sonoma Index-Tribune". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  6. ^ Kovner, Guy (April 13, 2012). "After 128 years, Lynch family steps away from Sonoma newspaper business". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  7. ^ "Our Divisions". Sonoma Media Investments, LLC. 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  8. ^ "Contact Us". Sonoma Index-Tribune. Retrieved February 15, 2020.

External links[edit]

Official website