The Seal Beach Sun (formally known as the Journal) has been The Local Paper since April 1967. That was when Grace Campbell, along with her partner Jules Schwartz, launches vol. 1 no. 1 of The Journal.
It was actually revived from an earlier version, which Campbell and Schwartz’s company, C&S Enterprises, discontinues in 1963 after a short life. The Journal grew out of Campbell and Schwartz’s publication, The Shopper, which Schwartz described as a penny-saver type of advertising supplement. Campbell got the idea after her neighbors there warmly received her newsletter, The Rossmoor News, published in 1959. The Journal’s goal was to be “an intimate and personal record of your days and achievements,” it’s first editorial read in 1968. The monthly periodical soon grew into a weekly as local residents who felt they were being overlooked by the larger daily newspapers in the area appreciated it.
The Journal covered the areas of Seal Beach, Huntington Harbour, Sunset Beach, Surfside and College Park East. One of the lead stories in the first issue of The Journal was about plans for a new Sunset Beach Aquatic Park-a debate that still continues off and on these days.
Before the Journal, Seal Beach’s first newspaper was called the Seal Beach Post. Then there was the Seal Beach Wave. These papers were both bought out and merged to the Seal Beach Post and Wave.
The Post and Wave became defunct sometime before The Journal began publishing, during the downfall of its owner, Bill Robertson, owner of the controversial Airport Club gambling casino.
Grace Campbell bought out Jules Schwartz for the rights to the Journal in 1974. In 1975, Campbell sold The Journal to six energetic young people who were eager to give the paper a different focus. The new owners and Editor’s of The Journal were Lou and Barbara Fryer and Dean and Carolyn Wylie, and Ben and Cathie Bradlee.
Ben Bradlee is the son of Ben Bradlee who made his name with the Washington Post. He was the Editor who gave the break to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to pursue the Watergate Burglary. It was that event which shadowed the demise of Richard Nixon’s political career in the 1970’s. Barbara Fryer eventually became a teacher in the Journalism Department at CSULB. Two former Journal Editors, the Author of this article, Dennis Kaiser, current Sun editor, and Tom Graves were students of Fryer. The review of Southern California Journalism, a newsletter published from CSULB, mentioned Fryer’s and her partner’s take over of The Journal.
“While trying to overcome this neglect by the ‘Big’ newspaper from Long Beach, the citizens didn’t do any better with the ‘Little’ newspaper in Seal Beach,” the article said. “Little more than a propaganda sheet for the local republican party, the Seal Beach Journal until recently was owned and edited by a local woman who had no understanding of journalism and little regard for fairness in reporting community events, issues, and politics. It was disparagingly called ‘The Urinal.’”
Fryer reflected on her time at The Journal in a phone interview this week. “When I didn’t hate it I loved it,” she said. “I remember doing everything. We delivered 22,000 papers after we published and that took another day and a half.” Fryer said the job was tough, but there were a few accomplishments. “We probably saved a few palm trees,” she said. “And we took a lot of stands that cost us some major advertisers.” Today Fryer is an Editor at The Tustin Weekly.
Fryer and company sold The Journal in 1977 to Jim and Sylvia Schaeffer, who carried on the spirit of professionalism that began at The Journal. During the Schaeffer’s tenure with the paper a seasoned reporter named Bill Quinn joined with them and spearheaded the publishing of the Harbour Sun. Quinn eventually edited various editions of The Seal Beach Journal, wrote numerous news and feature articles and editorials. He was best known for his humor column, “Life Spins.” Quinn stayed on with The Journal after the Schaeffer’s sold the paper to Hollywood Publisher Chuck Riley, on Aug. 15, 1980. Bill Quinn died in 1987. He had been publishing the Long Beach News at the time, according to Mike Rocci, a former production manager at the Journal. Many residents of Seal Beach remember Quinn fondly. His Wife, Adele Faulkner-Quinn, an internationally known interior designer, donated her talents to the interior design of Interval House.
Riley and his wife Bunny sold the publication, which had then grown to include the Rossmoor- Los Alamitos Journal, to Vance Caesar, former general manager of the Long Beach Press- Telegram. One of the first things Caesar did was return The Journal to its original tabloid format. Under Caesar, The Journal had grown to 30,000 distributions and an average of 40 pages per week. The Journal is now called The Sun and is distributed to the areas of Seal Beach, including Surfside and Leisure World, in addition to parts of Belmont Shore in long Beach; Rossmoor and Los Alamitos, including El Dorado Park Estates in Long Beach, Huntington Harbour and Sunset Beach.
216 Main Street, Seal Beach Ca 90740