Hearst: Lord of San Simeon

By Oliver Carlson; Ernest Sutherland Bates | Go to book overview
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Owner of the New York Journal

HEARST is said to have sunk nearly half a million dollars in the Examiner before he finally got the paper on an adequately paying basis. He knew that he would need much more than that amount for the conquest of New York. It was his mother who had made the ultimate success of the Examiner possible, and she now financed his invasion of the east by supplying him with truly Napoleonic resources. Through the sale of the Hearst interests in the Anaconda mine, she was able to turn over to her son for his new undertaking the sum of seven million five hundred thousand dollars. No other American publisher had ever started a paper with such financial backing.

Strictly speaking, Hearst, of course, was not starting a new paper. The Morning Journal, located in the Tribune Building at 154 Nassau Street, had been founded by Albert Pulitzer, brother of the great Joseph, as a sheet of backstairs gossip, a kind of daily Town Topics, featuring with salacious overtones and undertones the more sensational doings of the American aristocracy. It was sufficiently successful to enable its owner after a few years to retire to Paris, the paper being sold early in 1895 to John R. McLean, owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer. McLean endeavored to make a more respectable sheet out of it on the model of his middle-western paper, but to do so he was obliged to raise the price from one to two cents -- and this proved his undoing. The circulation dropped from 100,000 to 77,000, and by September 1895 he was glad to sell the paper to Charles,


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