The Pacific Sun is a free weekly newspaper published in Marin County, just north of San Francisco in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is the second longest running alternative weekly in the nation, behind only The Village Voice.[3][4][5] The paper is published every Friday.


The Pacific Sun was founded in April 1963 in California by Merrill and Joann Grohman in the back of a Stinson Beach grocery store. In 1966, the Pacific Sun moved its offices to San Rafael. Steve McNamara, the former Sunday editor of the San Francisco Examiner, bought it from the Grohmans that year.

Ten months after McNamara took over as editor, the San Francisco Press Club awarded its first prize for the best news story in a northern California non-daily paper for the Sun's story “The Night Nicasio Fired the Principal”, about a school board’s firing of a principal for admitting to marijuana use. In 1984, The Sun won the award for General Excellence from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer worked as a reporter for the Pacific Sun for two years in the 1970s, winning a Press Club award for a 1973 story on a state supreme court controversy.

Embarcadero Media, publisher of community weeklies in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Pleasanton, purchased The Sun from McNamara in 2004.

Sam Chapman, a former Chief of Staff to Senator Boxer, served as the paper's publisher until 2010. In October 2012, former Embarcadero principal Bob Heinen purchased the paper and took over as publisher.[2] Jason Walsh served as the editor and Dani Burlison replaced Samantha Campos as staff writer in 2010, after Campos replaced Jacob Shafer in 2008.

In May 2015, Metro Newspapers acquired the Pacific Sun, increasing its portfolio to four Bay Area alternative weeklies.[2] Metro restored circulation cuts that had occurred under the previous ownership and commissioned renowned typographer Jim Parkinson to redraw the Sun’s classic nameplate. Owner Dan Pulcrano promised “investment and creative vision... to produce a free weekly that’s fresh, original and true to its history.”[2]

The Serial

Cyra McFadden’s 1977 best seller, “The Serial — a Year in the Life of Marin County.” began as a series of 52 installments in the Pacific Sun. In 1980, Paramount made a movie entitled “Serial” based on the book. [2]