Highway 29 Media Company is a public benefit corporation committed to producing independent, public interest journalism for Napa Valley. Highway 29 is supported by the Media and Democracy Fund, which allows community support for our work through the Napa Valley Community Foundation. In 2022, we acquired and now operate two award-winning weekly newspapers — the Calistoga Tribune and the Yountville Sun. We are making significant investments in local reporting, digital technology, and community outreach.
Highway 29’s mission is to ensure that important sources of local news are not lost in Napa Valley. We believe that when local community newspapers disappear, the community suffers. Over the past two years, more than 360 newspapers have closed across the United States. When newspapers fold, the “news deserts” left behind have dire consequences:
Voter participation goes down, misinformation thrives, and democracy suffers.
Corporate misconduct increases.
Community involvement and engagement plummets.
The cost of government programs goes up.
We won’t let this happen in Napa Valley.Our goal is to build on the rich tradition of the Calistoga Tribune and the Yountville Sun by expanding coverage, doubling down on local stories, and building a digital platform to expand engagement - all while we continue to publish both publications in print.Highway 29 newspapers will adhere to a strict code of ethics and report the news without bias for any economic or political interest. Our community deserves journalism that speaks for itself and builds on the high standards set by the current Sun and Tribune owners and staff.The long-time publishers of the existing newspapers — Sharon Stensaas of the Yountville Sun, and Pat Hampton and Ramona Asmus of the Calistoga Tribune — have endorsed our mission and will remain involved in advisory roles.
Your Support Is Vital
Highway 29 is raising startup funds from local Napa Valley sources. We will depend on area businesses and residents for financing, advertising, contributions, memberships, and other support. If you wish to be a founding partner, please contact us
The Media & Democracy Fund
Napa Valley Community Foundation has created a Media & Democracy Fund to support Highway 29’s public interest journalism. Community support is essential. To donate to our coverage of education, housing, agriculture, climate, health, local politics and government, the economy, community affairs, and other issues of civic life in Napa Valley, please support the Media & Democracy Fund with a generous donation today.
The People Behind Highway 29 Media
Bruce Kyse is Highway 29 Media’s Publisher and President. Kyse was Executive Editor and then Publisher of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat when it was owned by the New York Times Co. He recently retired as executive director of the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce. A veteran journalist, Mr. Kyse was also a vice president of News and New Media at the New York Times Media Group. He is responsible for all aspects of production of the Yountville Sun and Calistoga Tribune, overseeing reporting, production, advertising and distribution. Kyse is also spearheading expansion of the publications’ digital platforms.
Marc Hand , of Yountville, is CEO and Board Chair. He is CEO and founder of Public Media Venture Group and co-founder and board chair of the National Trust for Local News. He was the former CEO of Public Media Company (PMC). Hand has more than 30 years of media experience, including serving as Managing Partner and co-owner of a group of commercial radio stations in Colorado, and as an associate with two national media brokerage and investment banking firms. In 2021, the National Trust for Local News acquired Colorado Community Media, the owner of 24 newspapers in the Denver area.
Larry Kamer, also of Yountville, is a 40-year veteran of the communications industry and owns a marketing and management consulting firm in Napa. He teaches communications at University of San Francisco and Carnegie Mellon University and is active in volunteer and community work throughout the Valley. He serves Vice Chair of the Board of Highway 29 Media.
Paul Ingalls, of Calistoga, a retired Senior Editor at the Press-Democrat of Santa Rosa, where he oversaw the paper’s local news operation during the week. Prior that, , Ingalls served as the paper’s night assistant city editor, then as day assistant city editor, and finally as political editor. He began at the Press-Democrat as a reporter, spending 12 years covering various government beats, from Santa Rosa City Hall to the State Capitol. He is a fourth-generation resident of Calistoga, where he was born.
Our Board of Directors
Joining Chair Marc Hand and Vice Chair Larry Kamer on Highway 29 Media’s Board are:
Julia DeNatale is Vice President, Community Impact at Napa Valley Community Foundation. She oversees all grantmaking including Donor Advised Funds, legacy grants, and NVCF’s Community Impact Initiatives. Julia was born and raised in Napa, and joined the Foundation team in 2010 after leading development and education efforts at Wolfe Center, a nonprofit behavioral health organization in Napa. Her work in the private sector includes marketing and promotions management at Bay Area radio and television stations. Julia earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of San Francisco and is a graduate of Class 20 of Leadership Napa Valley.
Frances Dinkelspiel is an award-winning journalist and co-founder and former executive editor of Cityside, the nonprofit news organization behind Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Her journalism has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Daily Beast, People magazine and elsewhere. Her first book (Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California) was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and chosen as a best book of the Year by the Chronicle and the Northern California Independent Booksellers’ Association. Her second book (Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California) was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was named a best wine book of the year by the Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine magazine.
Will Marcencia is committed to approaching traditional media in nontraditional ways. He is the owner-operator, with his wife Julissa Marcencia, of Wine Down Media, Napa Valley's flagship radio stations, KVON 1440-AM "MegaMix" and KVYN 99.3 FM "The Vine". The Marcencias started their media entrepreneurial journey in 2017 and have extensive experience in leadership, operations, and branding solutions. Prior to Wine Down Media, he worked at Univision Communications, Inc. In addition to Highway29 Media, Will serves on the board of directors at di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Friends of Napa County Animal Shelter, Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and as Vice-Chair of Collabria Care.
Join Our Team
We are in the process of building our team and encourage all skilled and committed reporters, editors, producers, salespeople, and digital professionals to reach out: please contact us