Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo.svg
PG front page.jpg
The 2006-07-23 front page of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatBroadsheet
Owner(s)Block Communications
PublisherJohn Robinson Block
EditorDavid Shribman
Founded1786 (as The Gazette)
Headquarters34 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222  United States
Circulation173,160 Daily
317,439 Sunday[1]
ISSN1068-624X
Official websitepost-gazette.com
 
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo.svg
PG front page.jpg
The 2006-07-23 front page of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatBroadsheet
Owner(s)Block Communications
PublisherJohn Robinson Block
EditorDavid Shribman
Founded1786 (as The Gazette)
Headquarters34 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222  United States
Circulation173,160 Daily
317,439 Sunday[1]
ISSN1068-624X
Official websitepost-gazette.com

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also known simply as the "PG", is the largest daily newspaper serving metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It has won six Pulitzer prizes since 1938.

Early history[edit]

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Building in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The paper began publication on July 29, 1786, with the encouragement of Hugh Henry Brackenridge as a four-page weekly, initially called The Gazette. It was the first newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains. Published by Joseph Hall and John Scull, the paper covered the start of the nation. As one of its first major articles, the Post Gazette published the newly adopted Constitution of the United States.

In 1820, under publishers Eichbaum and Johnston and editor Morgan Neville, the name changed to Pittsburgh Gazette and Manufacturing and Mercantile Advertiser.[2] David MacLean bought the paper in 1822, and later reverted to the former title.[3]

In 1844, the paper became a morning daily paper. Although the paper's editorial stance at the time was conservative, the paper was credited with helping to organize a local chapter of the new Republican Party, and with contributing to the election of Abraham Lincoln. The paper was one of the first to suggest tensions between North and South would erupt in war.[4]

After a consolidation of papers in 1877, the paper was again renamed and was then known as the Commercial Gazette.[5]

In 1900, George T. Oliver acquired the paper, merging it six years later with another paper (The Pittsburg Times) to form The Gazette Times. After several more mergers of newspapers in Pittsburgh, including the Dispatch, publisher Paul Block bought the paper in 1927 and it became the Post-Gazette on August 2.

The current headquarters for the Post-Gazette were constructed in 1927 and expanded with a curtain wall in 1962.[6]

Joint operating agreement[edit]

In 1960, Pittsburgh had three daily papers: the Post-Gazette in the morning, and the Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph in the evening and on Sunday. The Post-Gazette bought the Sun-Telegraph (which had bought the old Chronicle-Telegraph), and moved into the Sun-Telegraph's Grant Street offices.

The Post-Gazette tried to publish a Sunday paper to compete with the Sunday Press but it was not profitable; rising costs in general were challenging the company's bottom line. In November 1961, the Post-Gazette entered into an agreement with the Pittsburgh Press Company to combine their production and advertising sales operations. The Post-Gazette owned and operated its own news and editorial departments, but production and distribution of the paper was handled by the larger Press office. This agreement stayed in place for over 30 years.

Strike, consolidation, new competition[edit]

The distribution center
Consolidation timeline

On May 17, 1992, a strike by workers for the Press shut down publication of the Press; the joint operating agreement meant that the Post-Gazette also ceased to publish. During the strike, the Scripps Howard company sold the Press to the liberal Block family, owners of the Post-Gazette. The Blocks did not resume printing the Press, and when the labor issue was resolved and publishing resumed, the Post-Gazette became the city's major paper, under the full masthead name Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sun-Telegraph/The Pittsburgh Press.

The Block ownership did not take this opportunity to address labor costs, which had led to sale of the Press. This would come back to haunt them and lead to financial problems (see "Financial Challenges" below).

During the strike, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife expanded his paper, the Greensburg Tribune-Review, based in the county seat of adjoining Westmoreland County, where it had published for years. While maintaining the original paper in its facilities in Greensburg, he expanded it with a new Pittsburgh edition to serve the city and its suburbs. Scaife named this paper the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Scaife has invested significant amounts of capital into upgraded facilities, separate offices and newsroom on Pittsburgh's North Side and a state of the art production facility in Marshall Township north of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County. Relations between the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review are often competitive and frequently hostile, given Scaife's longstanding distaste for what he considered the Blocks' liberalism.

On November 14, 2011, the Post-Gazette revived the Pittsburgh Press as an afternoon online newspaper.[7]

Community presence[edit]

The newspaper sponsored a major 23,000 seat outdoor amphitheater in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, the "Post-Gazette Pavilion", although it is still often referred to as "Star Lake", based on the original name, "Star Lake Amphitheater", and later "Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater" under the former sponsor. They gave up naming rights in 2010. First Niagara Bank, which had entered the Pittsburgh market the year before after acquiring National City branches from Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services, took over the naming rights to the facility and is now known as the First Niagara Pavilion.

The newspaper once had ventures in television. In 1957, the Post-Gazette launched WIIC-TV (now WPXI) as the area's first full-time NBC affiliate three years after Westinghouse Electric's Group W spurned NBC for CBS with its newly acquired former DuMont O&O WDTV (now KDKA-TV) despite KDKA Radio's longtime affiliation with NBC Radio. The Post-Gazette sold off the station to current owner Cox Enterprises in 1964. Although the Post-Gazette and WPXI have on occasion had some news partnerships, the Post-Gazette's primary news partner is now ironically KDKA-TV.

Financial challenges[edit]

In September 2006, the paper disclosed that it is experiencing financial challenges, largely related to its labor costs. The paper also disclosed it had not been profitable since printing had resumed in 1993. As a result of these issues, the paper is considering a number of options, including putting the paper up for sale.[8] While deep concern about the paper's future ensued, negotiations proved fruitful and in February, 2007 the paper's unions ratified a new agreement with management mandating job cuts, changes in funding health care benefits and so forth.

Awards[edit]

The Post-Gazette won Pulitzers in 1938, 1986, 1987 and 1998. It is generally accepted that the paper would have won a Pulitzer in 1964 but chose not to run the iconic Y.A. Tittle picture that one of its photographers took at Pitt Stadium. The photo would go on to win awards, hang in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, be used for the back cover of Tittle's autobiography and used in a Miller Beer High-Life commercial in 2005.

In 1997 Bill Moushey won the National Press Club’s Freedom of Information Award on a series investigating the Federal Witness Protection Program and was a finalist for the Pulitzer.[9][10]

Popular Culture[edit]

The paper was featured on the August 16, 2013 Colbert Report for its coverage of a Washington County, Pennsylvania fracking lawsuit.[11]

Prices[edit]

Post-Gazette per copy prices are: daily, $1 & Sunday/Thanksgiving Day, $2 throughout Pennsylvania, including Allegheny/neighboring counties.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Circulation averages for the six months ended: 9/30/2011". Audit Bureau of Circulations. 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  2. ^ Thomas, Clarke M. (2005). Front-Page Pittsburgh: Two Hundred Years of the Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-8229-4248-8. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Clarke M. (2005). Front-Page Pittsburgh: Two Hundred Years of the Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 43. ISBN 0-8229-4248-8. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Clarke M. (2005). Front-Page Pittsburgh: Two Hundred Years of the Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 101. ISBN 0-8229-4248-8. 
  6. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/10/25/Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette-building/stories/
  7. ^ Schooley, Tim (2011-11-14). "Block brings back Pittsburgh Press in e-version". 
  8. ^ Boselovic, Len (September 15, 2006). "Without labor deal, PG could be sold, owners say". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  9. ^ http://old.post-gazette.com/win/background.asp
  10. ^ http://www.pointpark.edu/Academics/Schools/SchoolofCommunication/FacultyandStaff/FulltimeFaculty/BillMoushey
  11. ^ http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/428642/august-15-2013/the-word---gag-gift

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]