Editorials ~ Sonoma Sun


The Sun will come out…tomorrow

Posted on March 9, 2024 by Sonoma Sun

Since the untimely death of Sun publisher Val Robichaud, we at The Sun have been been considering how to go forward. Our website SonomaSun.com is still up and running, but production of a printed paper has been suspended until a new business plan is created.

We don’t have to tell you that small, local newspapers are endangered; that story is being told all across America. That The Sun has been published for the past 20 years is a near miracle, testimonial to the hard work and commitment of Val and steady contributions of a crew of columnists, writers and journalists.

You, our reading public, are also part of the near miracle; your attention and loyalty and that of our advertisers have made The Sun a regular, welcome part of the life of Sonoma Valley.

Over the years, we’ve tried to offer something that other newspapers don’t provide: hyper-local coverage of the Valley, and an independent voice not corporately owned or controlled. On this basis we’ve printed at least 4,000 copies of each edition, updated our website daily, been in contact with nearly 5,000 people on Facebook, and generated daily emails about new articles to those who have requested it.  Now we are exploring how to continue.

The Sun has never been a big money-making enterprise. It was Val’s passion and livelihood, but it didn’t make him rich, not even close. The rest of us have contributed our time, efforts and articles at no charge. Going forward will require re-examining The Sun’s business structure and developing a sustainable plan, and that will take some time.

We’re looking at a number of options, including reorganization as a nonprofit 501C3, as our local radio station has done. Even nonprofits need money, however; obtaining operating capital is another part of any plan to go forward. Printing a paper costs money, as does hosting a website with archives of articles going back more than a decade. Many of the roles Val filled will need personnel and payroll to continue.

As our plans develop, we’ll keep you – our readers and friends – informed. Val’s death was a terrible surprise and caught us all off guard. The past few weeks have been a time of mourning, reflection, and adjustment. Now the time has come to make some decisions and plans to keep The Sun shining.

Sun Editorial Board

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA