Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Former Owner Bick Faults Journals

Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Former Owner Bick Faults Journals

Article excerpt

"They ruined my newspapers," said Frank C. Bick, during an interview at his luxurious home in west St. Louis County.

When he says "They," he means Ingersoll Publications, Pulitzer Inc. and Lee Enterprises, three newspaper corporations who were successive owners of the chain of weekly newspapers on St. Louis' south side, that his father and he built up over several decades. They were sold to Ingersoll in 1984 along with a chain of weeklies on the city's northern side and Illinois built by the Donnelly family.

Bick said the subsequent owners of the Suburban Journals didn't "know anything about publishing free newspapers." He said he and the Donnellys (James and Robert) "got top dollar" on the sale and he became wealthy.

Journals' history

In 1922, Bernard H. Nordmann launched the 39th Street Neighborhood News and later published other free community papers in parts of South St. Louis.

In 1933 Frank X. Bick purchased the Cherokee News and renamed it the South Side Journal. Thus began a fierce competition with the Neighborhood News until they merged in 1970 to form St. Louis Suburban Newspapers.


Bick's son, Frank C. Bick launched the South County Journal in 1961 and eventually built Suburban Newspapers to include 10 papers in St. Louis.

In the northern area of the city and county, the Journals' roots trace to 1935 when Arthur M. Donnelly bought the Wellston Local and renamed it the Wellston Journal. The Donnelly family later expanded into other parts of North County and in 1957 launched the St. Charles Journal. The family also started papers in the Metro East area and the company grew to 25 newspapers.

In 1975, after competing for four decades, the Bick and Donnelly groups merged their ad operations into the Suburban Newspapers of Greater St. Louis.

In 1984, Ralph Ingersoll II of New Jersey bought 33 of the Bick and Donnelly weeklies as a group, folding their operations into his Suburban Journals of Greater St. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.