Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Infobox Newspaper
name =

caption = The 2006-07-23 front page of the
"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
type = Daily newspaper
format = Broadsheet
foundation = 1786 (as "The Gazette")
price = US$ 0.50 Mon-Sat
US$ 1.50 Sun (Pittsburgh)
US$ 1.75 Sun (elsewhere)
owners = Block Communications
publisher = John Robinson Block | editor = John Robinson Block
circulation = 213,352 Daily
341,474 Sunday
headquarters = 34 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222 USA
website = [http://post-gazette.com/ post-gazette.com]

The "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette", also known simply as the "PG," is the largest daily newspaper serving metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Early history

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. The publishers were Joseph Hall and John Scull. The paper covered the start of the nation, and as one of its first major articles, published the newly adopted Constitution of the United States.

In 1828, the paper was sold to Morgan Neville, and the name briefly changed to "Pittsburgh Gazette and Manufacturing and Mercantile Advertiser". In 1829, Neville sold the paper to David McClean, who reverted to the former title.

In 1844, the paper became a morning daily paper. The paper's editorial stance at the time was conservative, and the paper's presence in Pittsburgh was credited with helping to organize a local chapter of the 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 civil war. [http://www.post-gazette.com/aboutpg/history.asp]

After a consolidation of papers in 1866, the paper was again renamed and was then known as the "Commercial Gazette".

In 1900, George T. Oliver acquired the paper, merged it with another paper (The "Pittsburgh Times") and formed a new paper, "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.

Joint operating agreement

In 1960, Pittsburgh had three daily papers: the "Post-Gazette", "Pittsburgh Press" and the "Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph". The "Post-Gazette" bought the "Sun-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

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 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".

During the strike, conservative/libertarian 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."

Editorial stance

Although the paper does not have a defined editorial stance, its opinion page is liberal compared to the "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review",Fact|date=March 2008 the competing paper owned by conservative media mogul Richard Mellon Scaife. Fact|date=March 2008

On its nameplate, the "P-G" identifies itself as "One of America's Great Newspapers," as does its sister paper, the (Toledo, OH) "Blade". The Post-Gazette staff has actually won twoFact|date=March 2008 Pulitzers: one in 1998 for spot news photographyFact|date=March 2008 and one in 1938 for reporting on Justice Hugo Black's ties to the Ku Klux Klan.Fact|date=March 2008

Community presence

The newspaper sponsors 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.

Financial challenges

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. [http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06258/722100-28.stm] 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.



External links

* [http://www.post-gazette.com/ Post-Gazette.com]
* [http://www.post-gazette.com/aboutpg/ History of the Post-Gazette]

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