The year was 1883. The formation of Kittitas County as a government unit was only months away. Washington Territory wouldn’t be admitted to the Union for another six years.
That same year the city of Ellensburg was incorporated and the first newspapers in the Kittitas region were founded. The newspaper, the Kittitas County Localizer, put out its first issue July 12, 1883.
The Localizer was the grandfather of the Daily Record, which serves today as the major media voice of Kittitas County. In July 2009, the Daily Record marked its 100th anniversary of the renaming of the newspaper of the Evening Record on July 1, 1909, when former publisher J.C. “Cliff” Kaynor and William S. Zimmerman took over the newspaper that had been named the Ellensburg Localizer and changed the name of the paper to the Evening Record.
The 22-year-old Kaynor and Zimmerman had been employed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before acquiring the Record.
The Kaynor-Zimmerman partnership lasted three years with Zimmerman serving as editor and Kaynor handling financial and business affairs before Kaynor brought out Zimmerman in 1912. Kaynor published the newspaper for nearly 50 years. He died July 20, 1979.
During his tenure as publisher, Kaynor was a leading spokesman in the development of Ellensburg and the Central Washington region.
He was twice elected president of the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce and served on its board for 25 years. He was a 20-year member of the rodeo board and was instrumental in starting the rodeo, as well as being active in the rodeo board efforts for years before and after his formal board membership.
He also worked for the development of the highway system and was also a strong supporter of the Grand Coulee project and, in Kittitas Valley, reclamation developments that brought irrigation water to more acres through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the local Kittitas Reclamation District.
Kaynor also was the president of the state publishers’ association and president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
When he changed the name of the paper to The Ellensburg Daily Record on April 23, 1938, in the masthead, he called Ellensburg the “Center of the Northwest’s Greatest Irrigation Development.” On March 14, 1973, the paper dropped “Ellensburg” from its official title to become “The Daily Record” and added “Serving Kittitas County” to better reflect its coverage of the entire county. Later, the paper was among the first to move into the computer age. It was the second daily newspaper in the state to install computer terminals, replacing typewriters, on which reporters wrote their stories.
In November 1981, under the direction of then-publisher John Ludtka, the Daily Record became the first newspaper on the West Coast to add a cable-TV community information channel to its operation. Record TV-10 brought viewers to the Ellensburg area up-to-date news, sports, weather, and classified and display advertisements 24 hours a day.
The newspaper was sold to the McClatchy Newspaper group in September 1992. Four years later it was sold to its current owner Pioneers Newspapers Inc., based in the Pacific Northwest. The Daily Record’s Saturday edition was converted to a morning publication in October 1999. Matt Davison, the paper’s current publisher, joined the Daily Record in February 2006 and has overseen a period of significant change and growth.
As of the summer of 2009, the paper was one of less than 150 dailies nationwide to have posted year-over-year gains in both home subscriptions and single-copy sales and the Daily Record has emerged as a regional leader in online news innovations for small-market newspapers. In 2008, www.DailyRecordNews.com was named the state’s best news Web site by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.
To date all of the top 50 single-copy editions in recorded Daily Record history have been recorded in the past two years beginning in the summer of 2007.
Local market surveys have shown the Daily Record newspaper to be the No. 1 source for news and advertising in Kittitas County, while the paper’s Web site is No. 2. The paper’s combined print and online market penetration is at the highest point in its history.
“For 100 years the Daily Record has been the ‘go to’ source for local news and information,” Davison said. “Our goal has always been to cover this region comprehensively and fairly. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethical journalism and also strive to be a positive contributor to the local economy. Although our business continues to evolve, you can count on the Daily Record serving Kittitas County for the next 100 years.”
The Daily Record is published Monday through Friday in the afternoon with a Weekend edition publishing on Saturday mornings.
With a daily circulation of about 6,000, the Daily Record’s coverage spans the Cascades to the Columbia.