100 Years of Newspaper Ownership – Part 4Back to News

1981 Chicago Tribune bought Chicago Cubs from Wrigley Family.

1981 Ted Turner predicted demise of newspapers in ten years.

1981 Nackey Scripps Loeb assumed control of Manchester (NH) Union-Leader upon the death of her husband, William Loeb.

1982 USA Today first published.

1982 Jacksonville (FL) Times-Union acquired by Morris Communications.

1982 Billy Morris bought Jacksonville (FL) Times-Union for record $200+ million.

1983 Murdoch bought the Chicago Sun-Times from Marshall Field for $90 million.

1983 A.H. Belo Corp’s. Dallas Morning News acquired Dallas Times Herald.

1984 W. Dean Singleton bought his first daily newspaper, the Gloucester Co. Times of Woodbury (NJ).

1985 The Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, the Tuscaloosa (AL) News, and the Gadsden (AL) Times, three newspapers in the Public Welfare Foundation, were acquired by New York Times Co. for $150 million.

1985 USA Today topped 500,000 circulation.

1985 Columbus (OH) Dispatch terminated JOA, captured metro field for itself.

1986 Conrad Black’s Hollinger entered U.S. by buying American Publishing.

1986 Gannett bought Louisville Courier-Journal for $305 million, Des Moines Register for $165 million.

1986 Knight-Ridder paid $311 million for Columbia (SC) State-Record and four other dailies.

1987 Gannett reported first monthly profit for USA Today.

1987 Horvitz acquired by Ingersoll.

1989 Largest JOA implemented between Gannett’s Detroit News and Knight-Ridder’s Detroit Free Press.

1989 Ralph Ingersoll started St. Louis Sun, the century’s last metro start-up; Sun set by year-end.

1990 Journal Register Company was formed in July.

1990 The Scrantonian-Tribune closed its doors, and The Times added other features in its own publication of the morning Tribune.

1990 Alexandria (VA) Gazette became the first U.S. community newspaper to be foreign-owned (a Hong Kong company has majority interest).

1992 Block Communications’ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette bought and closed its larger JOA partner, Pittsburgh Press.

1993 New York Times acquired Boston Globe for record $1.1 billion.

1993 Donrey Media sold to Stephens & Co.

1994 Stauffer Communications sold to Morris Communications for $287 million.

1994 Rupert Murdoch sold Boston Herald to publisher Patrick Purcell.

1995 Raleigh News & Observer sold to McClatchy Newspapers for $373 million.

1996 After a 26-year newspaper acquisition hiatus, Charleston (SC) Evening Post purchased Salisbury (NC) Post.

1997 Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. founded with purchase of 15 former Park newspapers from Media General.

1997 Knight-Ridder acquired Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram,two other dailies for record $1.7 million.

1997 In the largest transaction in the company’s history, A.H. Belo acquired The Providence Journal Company, gaining ownership of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper and nine award-winning network affiliates for $1.5 billion.

1998 Media News bought Daily News of Los Angeles, doubling the size of its L.A. cluster.

1998 Seattle Times bought Guy Gannett’s three Maine dailies.

1998 McClatchy paid $1.2 billion for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

1999 Two years after its founding, CNHI became the largest group in number of dailies (94) with acquisition of 28 from Hollinger.

2000 Thomson divested 49 U.S. daily newspapers and five in Canada to eight buyers for $2.5 billion, retaining only the Globe and Mail in Toronto.

2000 Tribune became the 2nd largest U.S. newspaper company in revenues, as it merged with Times-Mirror. The transaction ended 119 years of ownership of the Los Angeles Times by the Otis and Chandler families.

2001 Volume of newspaper sales dropped to a 25-year low, with just 22 dailies changing hands in 21 transactions with deal volume of $209 million.

2002 Howard Publication’s 16 dailies were sold to Lee Enterprises, nearly doubling Lee’s circulation to 1.1 million.

2003 McClatchy acquired Merced (CA) Sun-Star from Pacific-Sierra Publishing.

2004 Journal Register Co. expanded into new geographic territory with purchase of 21st Century Newspapers, a large cluster of dailies and non-dailies primarily in southeast Michigan.

2005 Lee acquired Pulitzer Inc., adding 14 dailies and $440 million in revenue.

2005 Gannett closed the gap on its clusters in Michigan and Cincinnati/No. Kentucky with acquisition of HomeTown Communications, including one daily, 62 non-dailies and 24 community telephone directories.