William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863-1910

By Ben Procter | Go to book overview

4
"Monarch of the
Dallies"

Excitement, anticipation, experimentation, the steady drumbeat of an organization on the rise! Such ideas, such emotions and expressions permeated the Examiner offices at the beginning of 1890 - and for good reason. Already a staff of talented professionals, well trained in "sniffing out" the news and gifted in writing attention-getting stories, had passed the circulation of one city rival, the Call, and had drawn even with the previously dominant Chronicle. Compensatory recognition in the form of large salaries and generous bonuses was equally satisfying, thereby encouraging excellence and heightening morale. But most important a youthful employer, a kindred spirit who at times seemed to personify "a mad bull in a China shop," labored with them oftentimes past midnight, stimulating their imagination with his creativity. They thus sought daring assignments, even concocted outlandish schemes, because their leader required, indeed demanded, only two work standards, ability and loyalty, requisites that they abundantly displayed. 1

Hearst, although sensing these feelings of exhilaration, of hope and optimism, realized that the Examiner was not yet self-sustaining, that the past three years of accomplishment could go for naught unless he pressed "for the kill" against his city rivals. As a consequence, he employed any inventive means, any technique or experiment, to attract new readers. And, as some of his colleagues recorded, the Examiner reflected his thinking and ingenuity, his confidence and daring. In many ways Hearst seemed to hold the "pulse" of San Franciscans; whatever he considered fascinating and entertaining seemed to please Examiner readers. Journalist Lincoln Steffens characterized it this way: "All Hearst papers" bore the "imprint of one common personality -- William Randolph Hearst." 2

And what was the Hearst "personality"? It was surely complex, often

-59-

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William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863-1910
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Romantic Legend of the Hearsts 1
  • 2 - The Rebel from California 11
  • 3 - The Newspaperman 37
  • 4 - Monarch of the Dallies 59
  • 5 - News War in New York 79
  • 6 - Yellow Journalism 95
  • 7 - The Journal's War 115
  • 8 - Political Activist 135
  • 9 - Running for President 163
  • 10 - Uncrowned Mayor of New York 193
  • 11 - Patron Saint of the Independents 229
  • Notes 265
  • Index 335
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