Newspaper Chains, Ownership of

The trend toward newspaper chains in the United States emerged in the late 19th century and expanded significantly following World War I. Sidney Kobre, in his 1969 book Development of American Journalism, dates the first U.S. newspaper chain to 1717, when publisher Andrew Bradford’s Philadelphia-based The Mercury combined with the New York Gazette. Benjamin Franklin followed with his successful Philadelphia Gazette serving as a financial basis for investment in six other newspapers. Today, many newspaper chains are part of larger companies that include other forms of media, such as Hearst Communications, which also publishes magazines, and WEHCO Media, a regional company in Arkansas that also owns cable television systems.

Newspaper chains generally involve a series of newspapers located in geographically diverse cities and towns that are ...

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