David W. Sanford was the youngest of three family members to build the rural newspaper powerhouse Mason Valley News – “The Only Newspaper That Gives A Damn About Yerington” – and then continued his journalism career when the family sold the three-newspaper corporation to Gannett/Reno Gazette-Journal.
David did just about everything, starting out as a sports writer but growing into roles that included hard news, photography, and opinion pieces while also helping with design, pasteup and even getting the newspapers to the post office. Later, he moved into management as well.
He left the newspaper for a brief time in the 1980s. David returned to the MVN in 1989 and quickly rose through the ranks of the operation, advancing first to assistant editor and then editor and co-publisher positions. Nine years later, his parents retired and David joined his brother in assuming full ownership of the MVN.
In 2000, they sold the corporation to the Gannett/ Reno Gazette Journal. David remained publisher of the award-winning weekly until July 2013.