Linn to retire as Sierra Star publisher

Sierra Star Publisher Betty Linn
Sierra Star Publisher Betty Linn

After almost four decades in the newspaper business, the last 23 as publisher of the Sierra Star and Sierra Home Advertiser, Betty Linn has announced her retirement, effective June 16.

“Betty Linn has always been a strong community leader and an outstanding advocate for public service journalism,” said The Fresno Bee Publisher and President Tom Cullinan. “She has been at the helm of the Star for 23 years, overseeing its transformation from a print-only product to a digital journalism leader. Under her leadership, the Star has won numerous awards from the California Newspaper Publisher Association and other industry organizations for outstanding reporting, photography and sports and Mountain Area news coverage. In addition, she has a long list of distinguished honors and contributions to the community.”

In 1997, Linn was named Woman of the Year by the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce. Upon that distinction, she received recognition from then Congressman George Radanovich in a letter that read in part - “This honor exemplifies the great respect and gratitude the chamber and the community hold ... you have certainly accomplished outstanding leadership and are a model citizen. I applaud you for your devotion to the betterment of Oakhurst.”

Linn is currently serving as president of the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, and as secretary-treasurer of Visit Yosemite Madera County visitors bureau.

“Now the time is right as I continue to help my husband David Linn in his career as Madera County District Attorney,” Linn said. “I have been very fortunate with a long career, doing what I love. To put it in simple terms, I have worked with my fellow employees who have cared about a free press, keeping our readers informed as we report the day-to-day events and news of our area. I have been blessed to live and work in an area that I love, serving our communities of Eastern Madera County. I will continue to serve on the chamber and visitors bureau boards and continue to pay it forward.”

Linn began her career in 1978 as an ad executive for the Sierra Home Advertiser. In 1983, Lesher Communication Inc. purchased the Sierra Star and the Sierra Home Advertiser, merging them with the Madera Tribune. Linn was then promoted to general manager of the Sierra Star. In 1994, she was named publisher by Lesher Communication.

“In 2004 McClatchy purchased the Sierra Star and we were very fortunate to have Betty continue as publisher,” Cullinan said. “We are grateful for her leadership and want to take this time to thank her for her uncompromising dedication to McClatchy, our employees at the Sierra Star, and the Oakhurst community. While I am pleased that Betty will be able to pursue her well deserved retirement plans after a distinguished career in journalism, I will miss working with such an incredible talent.”

Staff Report