The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin is dedicated to serving the community through quality journalism, professionalism and integrity. The newspaper traces its lineage to 1869, when the Walla Walla Union was founded as a weekly newspaper by a group of Republicans opposed to the Democratic leanings of Walla Walla's earliest newspaper. In 1881 it became a daily and in succeeding years combined with or absorbed several other local newspapers.
The Walla Walla Bulletin began publishing in 1906. John G. Kelly came from Kansas City to purchase the newspaper in 1910 and remained publisher for 45 years. He purchased the Union in 1934 from W.H. Cowles, publisher of the Spokane newspaper, who in 1931 had obtained the Union in a foreclosure proceeding. Kelly merged the separate publications into the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin in 1934. The newspaper moved into its present facility at 112 S. First Avenue in 1947.
Kelly retired in 1955, and invited Roland Eugene Miller, who had held numerous positions at the paper over about 20 years, to become publisher, an office he held until his death in 1957.
Frank Mitchell then became publisher and remained in the position until 1963. Donald Sherwood, son-in-law of Kelly, succeeded Mitchell as publisher.
The Seattle Times Company purchased the Union-Bulletin in October 1971. Mr. Sherwood retained the publisher title. Frank Blethen, current publisher of the Seattle Times, was appointed to succeed him and was associate publisher from November 1974 until February 1977, when he was named publisher. Charles C. Cochrane Jr. succeeded Blethen on Jan. 1, 1979, and worked in that capacity until 1996. Debbie Frol was publisher from 1996 to 2001. Michael Shepard was publisher from 2001 until 2004, when he was named publisher of the Yakima Herald-Republic. Larry Duthie was publisher from 2004 until April 2009, when he retired. Rob Blethen was appointed to succeed him and was associate publisher from September 2008 until April 2009, when he was named publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
Brian Hunt was publisher from May 1, 2015, through February 2020.
In August 2020, local department managers Dian Ver Valen, Matt Lohrmann, Mike Cibart and Jim Seiner were named to the executive board of the U-B.
Ver Valen, who became editor in February, was promoted to senior editor and was appointed to act as the lead member of the executive team.
In addition to directing daily news coverage and managing the Union-Bulletin’s 17-person newsroom, she will operate as the company’s spokesperson in the community and ensure the U-B’s attention is centered on its editorial mission.
Lohrmann, who has been the newspaper’s advertising director, was promoted to sales director. He will add commercial print sales, community partnership oversight and other advertising operations to his responsibilities.
Cibart, who has been manager of circulation, became director of operations.
Seiner maintained responsibility for the U-B’s printing and packaging operations.
The Union-Bulletin is committed to serving the Walla Walla Valley by being its indispensable local news and information provider - distributing this in a way that best meets each individual's needs. The U-B will assume a leadership role in improving the quality of life of the Valley. Company Vision The Union-Bulletin will be the preferred and most trusted source of local news and information for everyone in the Walla Walla Valley. We will achieve excellence in everything we do and be among the best in the nation compared to media companies our size.
Company Core Values
The Union-Bulletin is guided by the following:
▪ We value accuracy.
▪ We value compassion.
▪ We value diversity.
▪ We value finding and reporting the truth.
▪ We value independence.
▪ We value innovation.
▪ We value integrity.
▪ We value teamwork.
The Company in the Community
The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin values its special relationship with the community. Company-giving programs focus on health and human services, diversity, literacy, youth and the arts. The Union-Bulletin supports many community organizations and activities. It is an annual supporter of the Walla Walla County United Way campaign.
In keeping with a philosophy of preserving and protecting the resources of the Northwest, the Union-Bulletin practices and promotes recycling. Currently, 20-25% of U-B newsprint contains recycled fibers. All newspaper waste is reused; ink, office paper and printing plates are recycled. These efforts have been recognized locally with the Green Seal award presented by Walla Walla County Recycling.
Seattle Times Affiliates
We value the independence of being part of a family-owned company. The Blethen family has solid roots in Washington and cares deeply about the state and the people who live here. The family is committed to journalistic excellence and the long-term health of each Seattle Times Company newspaper. Part of the benefit of the Blethen family ownership is the belief that the decisions affecting the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin are best made locally by people who live and work in the community. All news and editorial decisions, as well as most of the business operating decisions, are made by the people here at the Union-Bulletin.
Other Washington state newspapers include The Seattle Times and the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Who we are
The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin is a daily newspaper and website serving the Walla Walla Valley. Published Monday through Friday afternoons and Sunday morning, the Union-Bulletin has a circulation of about 10,000 and attracts over 100,000 visitors per month to its website Union-Bulletin.com. An award-winning newspaper, it is recognized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors as one of the best small daily newspapers in the United States.