Start the Presses: Sunday, historic Sunday

January 30, 2011|Dan Evans

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?

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