The Bulletin is a newspaper in Bend, Oregon, United States. The Bulletin is owned by EO Media Group.

The Bulletin
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)EO Media Group
PublisherHeidi Wright
Founded1903; 121 years ago (1903) as the Bend Bulletin
HeadquartersBend, Oregon, U.S.
Circulation9,983 Print
3,762 Digital (as of 2023)[1]
Sister newspapersBaker City Herald, The Observer, The Redmond Spokesman, the East Oregonian, The Astorian
OCLC number137350069

History edit

Establishment edit

To start a newspaper in Bend, a printing press and other publishing equipment items were brought overland from the railhead at Shaniko by freight wagon. The Bend Bulletin was first published as a weekly newspaper on March 27, 1903. At the time, Bend was a mere hamlet in what was then part of Crook County.[2] The newspaper's first publisher was Max Lueddemann with Don P. Rea serving as the first editor. When it began, the newspaper's only other employee was a printer named A. H. Kennedy. The newspaper office was located in a rustic cabin on the east bank of the Deschutes River.[3][4] In the summer of 1904, the newspaper was sold to J. M. Lawrence. He moved the newspaper to an office building in downtown Bend.[3][5] In that year it consolidated with the Deschutes Echo, which had been launched in 1902 in the neighboring hamlet of Deschutes (now part of the city of Bend).[2]

Ownership transitions edit

The Bend Bulletin, March 3, 1909

In 1910, George P. Putnam bought the Bend Bulletin from Lawrence. While he was the newspaper's editor for only four years, Putnam continued as publisher for several more years. During his tenure, Putnam was active in local and state politics and the newspaper began promoting Central Oregon outside the local area. In 1916, Deschutes County was carved out of Crook County; a campaign led by the Bulletin was at least partially responsible.[2] On December 6, 1916 the paper switched from daily to weekly publication.[3][4]

Robert W. Sawyer purchased Putnam's interest in the newspaper in 1919. He hired Henry Fowler, who owned a minority share in the newspaper, as editor. Sawyer was a conservationist, who used his influence as a newspaper publisher to help preserve Oregon's natural resources. In addition to publishing the Bend Bulletin, he served as president of the National Reclamation Association, a director of the American Forestry Association, and a member of the Oregon Highway Commission. He also championed the establishment of numerous state parks as well as leading the effort to preserve key portions of the John Day Fossil Beds. Sawyer continued as publisher of the Bend Bulletin for 34 years. In 1953, Sawyer put the newspaper up for sale. He received offers from several large newspaper chains, but eventually sold the newspaper to Robert Chandler. To make the purchase affordable, Sawyer only required a $6,000 down payment.[3][4][6][7]

Chandler ran the newspaper for the next 43 years, first as The Bend Bulletin and after 1963 as The Bulletin. During his tenure, Chandler brought new technology into the newspaper's operation. Soon after he bought the paper, he expanded the photoengraving facilities. In 1956, he replaced the paper's flatbed press with a new rotary press that printed 13,000 32-page sections per hour. The new press also allowed the paper to print photographs in color.[4][8]

In 1966, The Bulletin moved to a new building on Hill Street in the southern part of Bend. As part of the move, a new offset press was installed. The new press ended the need to produce hot-lead cast type. It also improved the quality of the newspaper's photographs. That same year, The Bulletin began using wire service photos to supplement photographs taken by the paper's staff photographers. In the 1970s, the newspaper installed video display terminals to receive electronic feeds from the wire services. The video displays were replaced with computers a few years later. A new Goss Urbanite offset press was installed in 1980. This new system could print 20,000 sections an hour.[4]

In 1988, three reporters were arrested for criminal trespass for attempting to get the records of hotel-motel taxes from the Deschutes County Commissioners.[9] The Commissioners denied access to the records and the reporters were never prosecuted.[9]

The Bulletin created its website,, in 1996.

In 2014, the newspaper's circulation was 26,986 for the Monday–Friday edition, 27,253 for Saturday, and 27,599 for Sunday.

Bankruptcy and sale edit

The Bulletin's then-parent company, Western Communications, went through an initial Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011-2012.

Western Communications filed for a second round of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2019.[1] Western Communications filed documents in U..S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland in June 2019 that it planned to sell The Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman to Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers for just over $2 million.[10]

EO Media Group emerged as a late bidder and won the bankruptcy sale auction on July 29, 2019. Their bid of $3.65 million for The Bulletin and the Redmond Spokesman included investment and loans from civic and business leaders in Bend.[11]

The landmark northwest lodge-style office and printing press building, built on just under 10 acres in 2000, was sold for $13.25 million in autumn 2019 to Next Development Group.[12] The building was revamped for commercial tenants, with a focus on high tech and R&D .

In November 2021, Outside, Inc. announced it would move into the building, which had been renamed The Quad at Skyline Ridge.[13]

The newspaper relocated to leased offices in the Old Mill District. Printing of The Bulletin is done in Prineville and papers trucked back to delivery points.

On Sept. 13, 2023, the paper announced it would be converting from home delivery services to a mail-only delivery service for all of its newspaper subscribers starting Sept. 26.[14]

Central Oregon NewsGuild edit

On Oct. 20, 2023, staff at the Bend Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman announced plans to form a union. The 11 members of union, dubbed the Central Oregon NewsGuild, consists of reporters, news assistants and photographers. On Friday, the union sent a letter to parent company EO Media Group asking it to voluntarily recognize the union. If the company declines, a vote to unionize will be set at a later date.[15]

On Dec. 19, 2023, the writers, photographers and news assistants at The Bulletin and The Redmond Spokesman voted 12-1 in favor of unionizing.[16]

Notable editors edit

Since its founding, The Bulletin has had a number of distinguished publishers, including George P. Putnam, Robert W. Sawyer, and Robert W. Chandler. All three of these newspapermen are honored in the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame. Putnam and Sawyer were inducted in 1980, shortly after the Hall of Fame was created by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Chandler was inducted in 2006.[17]

Phil Brogan was another well-known journalist associated with The Bulletin. He was hired by Sawyer in 1923, and worked as a reporter, writer, and editor for the next 44 years, earning numerous awards for his work. He was also a distinguished historian, geologist, paleontologist, geographer, meteorologist, astronomer, and outdoorsman. In 1964, Brogan wrote East of the Cascades, an important source of information on the geology, geography, and history of Central Oregon.[18][19] Phil Brogan Viewpoint near Lava Butte in Newberry National Volcanic Monument is named in his honor.[20]

Erik Lukens returned to The Bulletin in 2016 to become editor. He was the director of editorial and commentary at The Oregonian in Portland from 2012 to 2016, leading the paper to the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Prior to joining The Oregonian, Lukens held a variety of newsroom positions at The Bulletin for 14 years. Lukens was not retained when EO Media Group took ownership of the paper.

Gerry O'Brien, formerly of the Klamath Falls Herald and News and several newspapers in Montana, was the editor of The Bulletin from September 2019 to February 2024.

Footnotes edit

  1. ^ "EO Media Group Publishing Map". EO Media Group LLC. 2023-03-06. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  2. ^ a b c Turnbull, George S. (1939). "Deschutes County" . History of Oregon Newspapers . Binfords & Mort.
  3. ^ a b c d Brogan, Phil F., East of the Cascades (Third Edition), Binford & Mort, Portland, 1965, pp. 213–215.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Bend Daily Celebrates Centennial", Oregon Publisher, Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, Portland, August 2003, pp. 6–8.
  5. ^ "The Bulletin". Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  6. ^ Lang, William L., "Robert Sawyer (1880–1959)",The Oregon Encyclopedia, Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society, Portland. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  7. ^ Guide to the Robert W. Sawyer Papers, 1903-1959, Northwest Digital Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, 2004.
  8. ^ "The broadening of our interests is the reason behind the change in our name". The Bulletin. May 15, 1963. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  9. ^ a b Thomas, Dick. "Opening the public files", The Oregonian, February 23, 1992, Forum, p. C7.
  10. ^ Meera Powell, "Bend Bulletin Must Terminate Employees Before Paper's Sale, Documents State," Oregon Public Broadcasting, July 6, 2019.
  11. ^ Associated Press, "Bend Bulletin to Have New Oregon Owners," Albany Democrat-Herald/Corvallis Gazette-Times, vol. 157, no. 179 (July 30, 2019), p. A5.
  12. ^ Bulletin, Gary A. WarnerThe. "Bulletin building to be sold for $13.25 million". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  13. ^ Roig, Suzanne (2021-11-02). "Outside Inc. joins tenants at former Bulletin building". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2023-09-15.
  14. ^ "The Bulletin moving to mail delivery of its newspaper". The Bulletin. 2023-09-13. Retrieved 2023-09-15.
  15. ^ Land, Joni Auden (October 20, 2023). "Journalists of Central Oregon newspapers rally for union amid soaring cost of living". OPB. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  16. ^ Roig, Suzanne (2023-12-19). "The Bulletin, Redmond Spokesman staff votes to unionize". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2023-12-23.
  17. ^ Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine, Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, Portland. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  18. ^ Friedman, Ralph, A Touch of Oregon, Pars Publishing Company, Portland, Oregon, 1970, pp. 110–116.
  19. ^ United Press International, "Phil Brogan retired editor, dead at 87", Eugene Register-Guard, 1 June 1983, p. 2A.
  20. ^ "Lava Lands Visitor Center", Cascades Volcano Observatory, United States Geological Survey, United States Department of Interior, Vancouver, Washington, 7 September 2009.

External links edit