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Learn more about our changing world

Gary Piech, Publisher
 To our readers:

In anticipation of the Union Democrat's conversion to a morning publication in the spring of 2015, Publisher Gary Piech is writing a series of articles describing the steps the Union Democrat is taking during the conversion process. We will publish these articles in print and here on our website as the process unfolds. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please do not hesitate to call us at 209-532-7151.


Changes continue for Union Democrat

Published November 14, 2014 

In late August of this year, I announced The Union Democrat will be making an exciting change to morning delivery. This change is on target to begin April 7, 2015.

I also told you I would keep you regularly updated through the process. Today, I want to share with you our selection of Tim Epperson as the editor of The Union Democrat. 

Epperson brings many talents to the newsroom including his experience with the Santa Maria Times’ transition to morning delivery. We think his skills and fresh ideas will complement the management team at The Union Democrat.

With over 20 years of experience in the newspaper industry, Epperson will focus on presenting a relevant daily report of community news and what it means to you and how it affects your day. 

Epperson has proven talents in story development, managing newsrooms, online content development and incorporating social media into the delivery of information to readers.

What does this mean for you? 

We think an improved experience with The Union Democrat, a better connection between you and our community — to our local world.

Tim Epperson arrives in Sonora from LaGrange, Georgia, where he was editor of the LaGrange Daily News, a 14,000 circulation newspaper owned by Civitas Media. His prior experience includes three years with Gannett California, where he was responsible for web content at the Visalia Times-Delta, The Desert Sun in Palm Springs and the Salinas Californian. Epperson also worked at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida, the Los Angeles Daily News and, as mentioned, the Santa Maria Times.

Epperson was born and raised in Bakersfield and is a graduate of California State University, Humboldt, with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.

Former editor Craig Cassidy will take on a new, important role as the opinion page editor and, under Epperson’s direction, will write daily editorials, coordinate guest opinions and sit on the newspaper’s editorial board. 

Cassidy’s range of knowledge about our community and spot-on opinions will keep you engaged with current news and controversial issues. Over the past three years, Cassidy has been recognized for his writings, most notably taking first place for his editorials on the Brennan Pendley sex scandal and the surrounding cover-up by his father, the Columbia Elementary School superintendent.

All of us at The Union Democrat appreciate your readership and look forward to providing you an extra dose of value with each day’s paper. As we move toward our change to a Tuesday through Saturday morning publication, we will continue to keep you informed.

We are very excited about these changes and appreciate hearing from you. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please do not hesitate to call us at 532-7151.


Gary Piech




Changes in store for Union Democrat

Published August 15, 2014 


Good afternoon,

I want to tell you about a major change that we are planning for The Union Democrat.

We think it is a very good one.

Sometime in the spring of 2015, The Union Democrat will switch from being delivered in the afternoon to being delivered early in the morning.

There are any number of excellent reasons for this change.

Perhaps the most important is that with late-night deadlines we can give you the latest and freshest in community, state, national and world news first thing in the morning — rather than delaying delivery of a similar report until the afternoon.

That means a full newspaper of news and advertising will be available all day in our local communities.

Along with the change to morning delivery, we will be switching our publishing days from Monday through Friday to Tuesday through Saturday allowing us to better serve our advertisers and readers with timely community information.

There are many, many details to work out between now and when we make the switch.

We will keep you regularly updated over the next several months as we work out the various aspects of this change.

During that time we would be grateful for any thoughts or suggestions you want us to consider.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at 532-7151 on what we see as a very exciting moment in The Union Democrat’s long and venerable history.


Gary Piech,


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Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:24:33 -0800