The Argus-Courier is an American weekly paid newspaper which serves the city of Petaluma and surrounding Sonoma County, California.[1] It is published weekly on Thursday,[1] with an estimated circulation of 7,400.[1]

TypeWeekly Newspaper
Founder(s)W.M Shattuck
PublisherEmily Charrier
EditorMatt Brown
News editorKathryn Palmer
Sports editorJohn Jackson
Founded1876 (1876)
HeadquartersSonoma County, California
Sister newspapersThe Press Democrat, Sonoma Index-Tribune
Free online (1950)

It is edited by Matt Brown.[2]


The Courier traces its history to 1876, with its establishment by W. M. Shattuck,[3] and after a series of sales was purchased in 1900 by the Olmstead family.[4] The Argus dates back to 1859, founded by J. J. Pennypacker.[3]

The two papers co-existed for some time, with their respective leadership playing prominent roles in the newly formed North of Bay Counties Press Association.[5] In 1928, the Olmsteds bought the Argus, and the Argus-Courier was first issued in July 1928 after the merger of the two papers.[6][7]

In 1995, the Olmsted family sold the paper to Scripps League Newspapers.[8] In 1993, the paper, which had been daily since 1928, cut down to a two day a week schedule, citing financial pressures.[8] The move left Santa Rosa's Press Democrat as the county's only daily.[8] Pulitzer Publishing Company bought Scripps League for about $230 million in 1996.[9] The New York Times Company bought the Argus-Courier in 2001.[10]

The New York Times Company sold its regional papers to Halifax Media in 2012; Halifax sold the Argus-Courier to Sonoma Media Investments later that year.[10]

National coverage and awardsEdit

Argus-Courier reporting has been featured in national news reporting, as with the story of Petaluma resident Polly Klaas's murder, where the paper served as a source of reporting,[11] and its staff served as commentators on the culture of the town.[12]

In 2017, the Petaluma Argus-Courier won 1st place in the General Excellence category in its division of California's Better Newspapers Contest.[13] In addition, it took home golds in environmental reporting, breaking news, and online photo essays.


  1. ^ a b c Stevenson, Paula. "Research Newspapers by State: California" (PDF). American Newspaper Representatives. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Argus-Courier". USNPL. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Muron-Fraser, J. P. (1880). History of Sonoma County, California. Oakland, California: Alley, Bowen & Company. pp. 341–346.
  4. ^ Wilson, Simone (2001). Petaluma, California. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738518992.
  5. ^ "Press Association Organized". Mill Valley Record. 2 December 1916.
  6. ^ "About Petaluma Argus-courier". Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Argus-Courier celebrates 160 years of chronicling Petaluma's history". Argus-Courier. September 24, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c KOVNER, GUY (15 Apr 1993). "Petaluma paper cuts publication to 2 days a week". Press Democrat.
  9. ^ "Pulitzer to Purchase Scripps Newspapers". Los Angeles Times. May 7, 1996. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Argus-Courier celebrates 160 years of chronicling Petaluma's history". Petaluma Argus-Courier. 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  11. ^ Associated Press (10 October 1993). "Winona Ryder lends $200,000 reward for girl". Reno Gazette-Journal.
  12. ^ Mandel, Bill (6 October 1993). "Petaluma plunges into modern times". The San Francisco Examiner.
  13. ^ "Better Newspapers Contest winners announced". California News Publishers Association. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2018.