Family Affairs: Five Dailies in Business since the 1800s

By Saba, Jennifer | Editor & Publisher, February 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Family Affairs: Five Dailies in Business since the 1800s


Saba, Jennifer, Editor & Publisher


Big metros are languishing on the sales block in San Diego and Austin. Seattle, Denver, and Tucson are about to kiss their second dailies goodbye. But not everyone is in a rush to exit the industry.

A group of four families concentrated in the Midwest, along with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have one thing in common: They have held on to their dailies the longest in the U.S., according to Dirks, Van Essen & Murray (see p. 44 of E&P's January 2009 issue for the list).

The Deseret News in Salt Lake City has been under the LDS Church for 168 years, according to Dirks. It maintains the name of the territory -- The State of Deseret -- proposed by Mormon settlers before what is now Utah was officially recognized by the U.S. government. It's also under a joint operating agreement with The Salt Lake Tribune, owned by MediaNews Group.

Next: the Jacobs/ Wallis family, whose Madison (Ind.) Courier has been in the family since 1849. "We have no plans to get out," says Kurt Jacobs, 46, and the Courier's general manager. He rattles off a list of family members involved at the paper -- his mom and publisher, Jane Jacobs, grandmother and board member Mary Goode Garber Wallis and brother William, who works in the pressroom.

"This is the only property we own," says GM Jacobs. "We have always enjoyed having a newspaper in a town we live in. We still think it's important. ... We're still profitable despite all the gloom and doom. Our margins are certainly different than they were!"

Frank Snyder, fourth-generation publisher of The Daily Standard in Celina, Ohio, can relate. His family is No. …

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