Former employees of the King County Journal gathered Sunday at a wake for the newspaper, which ceased publication Jan. 21.
It was a happy reunion tinged with sadness for about 200 people, including relatives of the survivors who enjoyed live music, appetizers and a cash bar at the Bellevue Hilton.
There were copies of the last paper with its farewell headline, “Final Edition.”
One of those with a lot of friends at the wake was Sherry Grindeland, who spent two stints at the predecessor paper, the Journal American, and lists herself as “classes of ’81 and ’96.”
“It was a great newspaper,” she said. “It was great, great fun – always exciting.”
“It’s the people that make any employment delightful. It’s not the employer. It’s not the job. It’s the people you work with,” she said.
The Kent-based King County Journal was the region’s fifth-largest daily, with a weekday circulation of about 39,000, down from 47,000 in 2003, when the paper was created through a merger of the daily Eastside Journal and South County Journal papers.
In November the paper was sold to Black Press Ltd., of Victoria, British Columbia, which decided to close the daily and beef up weekly papers it also owns in the Seattle suburbs.