The Montclarion (tagline: The Newspaper with the Hillside Slant) is a local weekly newspaper covering the Montclair district and surrounding hills. The paper is distributed free throughout neighborhoods such as Montclair and Rockridge. It used to be delivered to every house in these neighborhoods, but it is now only delivered to Oakland Tribune subscribers as an insert to the Friday Trib. The paper can also be picked up racks at selected locations in Oakland, as listed below.
However, don’t think it’s on the same level as those free papers one might pick up outside a BART station. The Montclarion has been around since 1944, with high enough journalistic standards that plenty of Oaklanders outside Montclair subscribed to it. Its coverage used to be more like pan-Oakland, but from a Montclair perspective, making it a good counterpoint to, say, the Oakland Tribune.
Originally part of the small Hills Newspaper chain, The Montclarion was later purchased by the Contra Costa Times’ parent company, itself later folded into the Bay Area News Group, owner and publisher of the Oakland Tribune. In this waning era of newspapers and wholesale media consolidation, today much of the paper’s content is lifted from the Trib (which is now indistinct from the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, etc.), with a few specialized columns of local interest. It is to be hoped that knowledgeable folks will continue editing this article to add more on the current state of this paper, how it manages to survive, etc.
The Montclarion was founded by Fred Graeser (May 28, 1910-May 17, 2000). Fred and his wife Micky purchased the name for $100 in 1944, and the first issue came out in October 1944. Fred ran the paper exclusively for 5 years, then went to work for an ad agency and Micky took over. Fred returned after a few years. They sold the paper in 1977. 1
Staff, Past and Present
- Oakland historian Beth Bagwell wrote a semi-monthly history column for the Montclarion.
- Oakland historian Erika Mailman’s ”Looking Back” column ran 1999-2011.
- Local blogger/journalist Zennie Abraham's column ran from 1993-1996.
- Dennis Foster was Advertising Director from 1968-c.1975. http://caprecut.com/about/the-history-of-calif-pre-cut-homes/
- Ginny Prior is a current columnist for the Montclarion, and has been since c.2002. http://ginnyprior.com/category/montclarion-columns/
- Peggy Stinnett covered the Oakland School Board and later the Oakland City Council http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Peggy-Stinnett-Oakland-journalist-dies-3229771.php
- Barbara Gillard had a recipe column
- Connie Rux was editor of the Montclarion until she retired in August 2012
- Jon Kawamoto became editor of the Montclarion, The Piedmonter and the Alameda Journal in September 2012. http://www.vocus.com/invocus/media-moves/newspaper/editor-named-for-three-bay-area-news-group-papers/
- Joseph Robertson was an illustrator for the Montclarion. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/insidebayarea/obituary.aspx?n=joseph-wallace-robertson&pid=156244299#fbLoggedOut
Montclarion Vending Locations
According to the circulation department of the Bay Area News Group, the Montclarion is available in racks at the following locations:
CVS, 3320 Fruitvale, Oakland, 94602
Diggery Inn, 4212 Park Blvd., Oakland, 94602
Farmers Joe's, 3486 MacArthur, Oakland, 94602
Ace Hardware, 1221 Grand, Oakland, 94610
Book Tree, 6121 La Salle, Oakland, 94611
CitiBank, 4150 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, 94611 (vending machine broken as of April 2014)
Crogans Rest, 6101 La Salle, Oakland, 94611
CVS, 2000 Mountain, Oakland, 94611
Gaylord Café, 4150 Piedmont, Oakland, 94611
Kaiser, 3772 Howe Street, Oakland, 94611
Lucky, 1964 Mountain, Oakland, 94611
Starbucks Coffee, 2059 Mountain, Oakland, 94611
De Lauers Newstand, 1312 Broadway, Oakland, 94612
Sears BART, 1990 Broadway, Oakland, 94612
Starbucks/Fed.Bldg., 1310 Clay Street, Oakland, 94612
Lincoln Liquor, 4100 Redwood Road, Oakland, 94619