Merced Sun-Star

Address: 3033 North G. St., Merced, CA 95340

Phone: (209) 722-1511

Web site: www.mercedsunstar.com

Founded: The Merced Sun-Star was founded in 1869 as the San Joaquin Valley Argus. The paper moved to Merced a year later and, after a series of acquisitions and name changes, became the Merced Sun-Star in 1926. Dean Lesher bought the paper in the 1930s and ushered in the newspaper's modern era. In 1971, the Sun-Star moved from its downtown location to the current G Street site. The paper was sold to U.S. Media in 1985 and was acquired by The McClatchy Company in January of 2004.

Key Executives:

Valerie Bender, President and Publisher

Dave Hill, Managing Editor

Michael Rocci, Operations Director

General Hiring Contact: Vice President, Human Resources, Cathy Allison

Market: Merced is the county seat for Merced County and has been one of the country's fastest-growing communities. The economy is based on agriculture but is diversifying. The community hopes to become an educational hub as the University of California, Merced grows. It is the 10th campus in the University of California system and the first American research university built in the 21st century. Just wrapping up its fifth year of operation, despite a harsh economic climate, the campus continues to grow, enrolling more than 3,400 students in the 2009-10 academic year. The numbers of students are expected to reach 4,000 by the fall of 2010 and are projected to reach 11,000 by 2020.

Circulation Area: Merced/Mariposa Counties and Chowchilla in northern Madera County.

Site: The Merced Sun-Star building is in the heart of the Olive Avenue retail corridor, with grocery stores, big-box retailers and apartment complexes nearby. The building is about 2 miles from downtown Merced and U.S. 99, the main north-south link that runs the length of the San Joaquin Valley.

Readership: 34,125 daily and 44,454 Saturday

Circulation: 14,219 daily and 18,569 Saturday

Single-Copy Sales: 2,522 daily and 2,952 Saturday

Average Monthly Page Views/Unique Visitors: 1.95 million page views and 225,000 unique visitors

Weekly Newspapers: Audited: Los Banos Enterprise (www.losbanosenterprise.com), Chowchilla News (www.thechowchillanews.com). Other weeklies: Atwater Signal and Livingston Chronicle.

Major Awards: The Sun-Star was awarded first place in the state for general excellence among papers of its size in the 2005 California Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspapers Contest. Individual staff members consistently take home many awards for reporting and photography in the state contest. The weekly Los Banos Enterprise won first place for general excellence in 2010 among newspapers of its size.

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