Start the Presses: Sunday, historic Sunday

Welcome to the Sunday News-Press & Leader. You are looking at a piece of history, as this is the first Sunday edition of either paper in 26 years.

And, indeed, that short-lived experiment from September 1983 to January 1985 may very well have been the only Sunday edition ever published in the 100-year-plus history of either the Burbank Leader or Glendale News-Press. On Friday, I braved the back room of our newspaper office — charmingly called "the morgue" — trying to find additional Sunday editions. I found none.

We have bound copies of the News-Press going back to the 1920s, dusty tomes filled with advertisements for "the latest French fashions," and declaring that "Tuesday will be Glendale's new shopping day." Those early-century papers, as far as I could tell, only published Monday through Friday.

John Storck, a reference librarian at the Glendale Public Library, kindly did a search of their archives for me. He said the only evidence of a Sunday edition was between Sept. 11, 1983, and Jan. 27, 1985. He pointed out that there was apparently no Saturday edition during that period, and that the Sunday edition stopped "apparently with little notice or fanfare."

Though Storck said he was not able to go through the entire run, it seems possible the only Sunday edition of the News-Press since 1905 occurred in the 1980s. That is, until now.

To answer questions about the history of the Leader, and its predecessor, the Burbank Daily Review, I called on Jeff Whalen, a reference librarian at the Burbank Central Library. Whalen, like his colleague in Glendale, was unfailingly helpful and kind in answering my queries.

As the library's microfiche copies of the Daily Review go back to only the 1930s, Whalen said he was unable to tell me if the paper had a Sunday edition before that point. However, between the 1930s and the 1980s, the paper switched back-and-forth between a Monday-to-Friday run and a Monday-to-Saturday run.

The only Sunday editions ran, like the News-Press, between Sept. 11, 1983, and Jan. 27, 1985. Also like the News-Press, there was no Saturday edition during that period. The Daily Review became the Burbank Leader in the mid-1980s, and has been on a twice-weekly publishing schedule since then.

But so what? What does that mean for you?

It means a larger paper on Sundays, containing more in-depth, investigative and enterprise work. It means an expanded feature section, more calendar listings, more photos and more color pages throughout. It means a paper that better informs, entertains and, yes, serves its readers.

As I have said in this space before, the role of a newspaper is to be as accurate a reflection of the community it covers: not cynical, but not boosterish. Burbank and Glendale are connected by more than a simple border, and this paper is, in part, an acknowledgement of that interdependence.

Additionally, by doing so, we will be better equipped to provide more Glendale-specific news in the Tuesday through Saturday editions of the News-Press, and more Burbank-centric news in the Wednesday and Saturday Leaders.

It's an exciting time for us. As always, though, I want to hear what you think. We're planning an open house to that end in late February, the details of which I'll write about as it gets closer.

For those of you who can't wait, I also want to announce an event I'm helping to produce in conjunction with the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and KPCC.

On Saturday, Feb. 5, I'll be moderating an event called "The Changing Face of Community Journalism." Reporters representing a wide spectrum of interests — print, broadcast, radio, online — will be sharing experiences and answering questions about how they view this important, and growing, niche. Our newest columnist, Ron Kaye, will be giving the keynote talk.

This free event will be from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Crawford Family Forum, next to KPCC's headquarters at 474 S. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena. Though there is no cost to attend — and food will be provided — you need to RSVP if you plan on attending. Go to for more information.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at both the Feb. 5 event and at the open house.

Dan Evans is the editor. Now that he's able to stop acting like an expectant parent about the Sunday edition, he's available to hear what you think at

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