End of an Era: Martinez News-Gazette closes its doors after 161 years

Bay Area

MARTINEZ (KRON) – It’s the end of an era in Martinez as the Martinez News-Gazette closes its doors after 161 years.

Sunday’s morning edition was the last paper it will ever print.

The Gazette began printing in September 1858, making it the oldest continuous publication in Contra Costa County.

The staff was notified last month about the closure.

A note on the door says it all.

Through the blocked windows, the office that sits on Alhambra Avenue near Downtown Martinez.

It produced countless stories serving the county seat of Contra Costa.

The Gazette announced the closing on the Sunday paper of November 17.

They also notified their followers on Facebook that same day.

It’s been a main news source for Martinez resident Jesse Shedd.

“It’s a shame. I always really liked having a local public opinion on news that’s centered around my community,” Shedd said. 

Cheryl Trembley also stopped by the office where she spent most of her childhood in this building.

“I just remember the noise in there, the loud machines kept going and going,” Trembley said. 

Her father, Norman Ripley, worked at the Gazette for 25 years.

His job an important one — getting the words on paper.

“He was in the composing room. Line and type,” Trembley said. 

Trembley recalls her father’s most memorable print job.

“When Kennedy was shot, he did the whole thing for here you know the paper he printed up the thing and he showed it to me,” Trembley said. 

And she saw first hand the change in technology.

“I remember they got a computer machine-like to do stuff and that was like a big deal,” Trembley said. 

Fast forward to today, where digital is perhaps taking over.

According to the Pew Research Center, newspaper circulation in the United States has declined every year for three decades.

Gibson Publishing is the paper’s owner.

It’s unclear why they’re shutting it down but it’s clear loyal readers will miss this community paper.

A worker said there are options for continuing as an online-only publication and they are looking into that.

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