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Daily Republic

Street: 1250 Texas Street
City: Fairfield
Zip Code: 94533
Phone: 707-427-6965
Fax: 707-425-5924
Contact Person: Robert Ponce
Website: Daily Republic

The Daily Republic has a storied history, dating back to the mid-19th century, with a legacy of local ownership that continues 150 years later.

Since the early 1960s, the newspaper has been owned by the McNaughtons, a family with roots in journalism that date back to the 1920s. F.F. McNaughton, grandfather of present-day CEO Foy McNaughton, graduated from Columbia University’s first master’s degree program in journalism. He went on to work for a New York City newspaper.

A few years later, he returned to his home state of Indiana to purchase a small paper in Bicknel. After making it a success, he purchased the Pekin Daily Times in Pekin, Ill. This became the flagship paper. His son, Dean McNaughton, joined the family business during the late 1940s.

Dean McNaughton journeyed to California in 1960 and purchased the once-a-week Solano Republican located in Fairfield. Within the first year, he increased the publication to five days a week, Monday through Friday, and renamed it the Daily Republic.

Today, the newspaper publishes six days a week, with a staff that works nearly around the clock. It’s beginnings, however, were much more humble.

The Daily Republic started life as two newspapers – the Solano County Herald and the Solano Press. The Herald was first issued in Benicia in November 1855. It moved to Suisun City with its first publication there on Oct. 2, 1858, with offices in a building on the south side of the city plaza. It was the first newspaper in the nation to editorially support Abraham Lincoln for president.

The Solano Press was created in 1862. Seven years later, the Herald and the Press were consolidated and renamed the Solano Republican.

“The Republican is a fearless defender of the rights of the people, and is a welcome weekly visitor to nearly every house in the upper portion of Solano County,” the 1879 History of Solano County stated.

The newspaper had a series of owners through the beginning of the 20th century until 1919, when one of its more well-known publishers, David A. Weir, took over. He controlled the Solano Republican for the next 31 years.

Weir was born in Sterling, Colo., in 1889 and got his first job at a newspaper when he was 13 as a printer’s devil. After stints at The Denver Post and the Chicago Tribune, he published papers in Nebraska, Oregon and Porterville before buying the Solano Republican.

Not content with just running a newspaper, Weir was also instrumental in establishing the local Lions Club, American Legion post and the county’s mosquito abatement district.

Weir retired from publishing Nov. 1, 1949, and sold the Republican to J. Clifton Toney, who operated the newspaper until 1960 when it was sold to the McNaughton family.

During the 1940s, the Solano Republican was housed at 607 Main St., Suisun City. The present home of the Daily Republic at 1250 Texas St. was built in 1940 and was occupied by Gillespie Cleaners before becoming the newspaper plant. Extensive additions and remodeling have taken place during the past 40 years.

In 1965, the McNaughtons purchased the Mountain Democrat in Placerville. The next year, they bought The Davis Enterprise. Today, the family publishes, in addition to the Daily Republic, The Davis Enterprise, the Mountain Democrat, the Winters Express and Life Newspapers (El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park and Folsom).

Foy McNaughton joined the family business in 1973. His first job was in the composing room at the Mountain Democrat. Later that year, he moved to The Davis Enterprise pressroom. For the next six years, he worked in all areas of the publishing business until 1979 when he was named publisher of The Davis Enterprise. He assumed his present title of president and CEO of the McNaughton newspapers in 1986. He became publisher of the Daily Republic in 1995, a role in which he serves to this day.

He is proud of the continued tradition of family owned newspapers in Fairfield-Suisun City.

“A local newspaper can bring a community together, so as it grows, it remains connected,” he said. “It is important that the owners make sure this happens. It is far easier to do if the newspaper is owned and operated locally.”

The next generation of the family is already working to help secure that future. Foy McNaughton’s son, T. Burt McNaughton, was named co-publisher in early 2013.

Business Days:
  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
Located in: Associate Members