The Williamsport Sun-Gazette is a morning newspaper published seven days a week in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in Lycoming County. Its earliest antecedents date to 1801. As of January 1, 2016, the daily circulation of the paper was listed as 19,000 daily Monday-Saturday, with a Sunday circulation of 24,000.
The Williamsport Sun-Gazette was founded in 1801 as the Lycoming Gazette. At the time of the newspaper's conception, there were only 131 residents in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The newspaper was started in a building in what is now the vicinity of Penn Street and Washington Boulevard. The Gazette name has been on the nameplate and masthead of a newspaper in Williamsport continuously since that time. The Sun-Gazette is the oldest continuously operating enterprise in the West Branch Valley.
Being 215 years old, the Sun-Gazette is now the 10th-oldest newspaper in America and the fourth-oldest in Pennsylvania – both rankings are from 2015. More than 32 other newspapers have operated and closed in the Williamsport area since 1801.
The Lycoming Gazette was a weekly paper from 1801 until 1867, when it was first published as a daily newspaper. The Lycoming Gazette then purchased the West Branch Bulletin, which was founded in 1860, and merged in 1869 to become the Gazette and Bulletin, which was a daily morning newspaper.
A rival newspaper, the Williamsport Sun printed for the first time on July 8, 1870 as an afternoon paper.
In 1955, the morning Gazette & Bulletin and the afternoon Williamsport Sun were consolidated and became the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, the area's afternoon newspaper.
On July 1, 1990, the family-owned Sun-Gazette was acquired by another family owned newspaper group, Ogden Newspapers, which operates more than 40 newspapers throughout the United States, including the East Lycoming Shopper & News and the Muncy Luminary, both in Lycoming County.
In January 1991, the Sun-Gazette published the first Sunday edition, becoming a seven-day-a-week publication, including holidays. Prior to that time, the Grit newspaper was the Sunday paper for the area, until Grit was purchased and moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1993, later converting to magazine format. Coincidentally, both the Sun-Gazette and Grit are now owned by Ogden Newspapers.
On August 9, 1999, 130 years after the merger of the Lycoming Gazette and the West Branch Bulletin, the Sun-Gazette returned to the morning edition format.
The Sun-Gazette has won numerous advertising, creative and editorial awards. It is nationally known for its coverage of the fracking industry, and also covers some news in neighboring counties, especially Clinton County, Tioga County and Sullivan County. It also covers Penn State University football and 17 local high school athletic programs.
The paper offers an almost exclusively conservative point of view, mainly through its original and syndicated editorials, as well as its selective use of articles from the Associated Press. The daily local news reporting is generally fair. The Sun-Gazette often partners with the local community, through donation of advertising space in support of local civic, scholastic, and service organizations. In addition, the company offers editorial support to many Williamsport-area businesses and charities.
In addition to the printed Sun-Gazette, the newspaper has an online presence at SunGazette.com, which attracts over 165,000 unique visitors and averages over 1.9 million page views per month.