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The HOUSTON CHRONICLE is the largest daily newspaper in Houston
Houston
, Texas
Texas
, United States
United States
. As of April 2016 , it is the third-largest newspaper by Sunday circulation in the United States. With its 1995 buy-out of long-time rival the Houston
Houston
Post , the Chronicle became Houston's primary newspaper.

The Houston
Houston
Chronicle is the largest daily paper owned and operated by the Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation
, a privately held multinational corporate media conglomerate with $4 billion in revenues. The paper employs nearly 2,000 people, including approximately 300 journalists , editors , and photographers . The Chronicle has bureaus in Washington, D.C. and Austin . It reports that its web site averages 125 million page views per month.

The publication serves as the "newspaper of record " of the Houston area. Previously headquartered in the Houston
Houston
Chronicle Building at 801 Texas
Texas
Avenue, Downtown Houston
Houston
, the Houston
Houston
Chronicle is now located at 4747 Southwest Freeway.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 1901–1926: Marcellus E. Foster Era * 1.2 Goodfellows * 1.3 1926–1956: Jesse H. Jones era * 1.4 1956–1965: John T. Jones Era * 1.5 1965–1987: J. Howard Creekmore Era * 1.6 1987–present: Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation
Era

* 2 Headquarters

* 2.1 4747 Southwest Freeway * 2.2 801 Texas
Texas

* 3 People

* 3.1 Awards * 3.2 Individual awards * 3.3 Pulitzer Prize * 3.4 Other notable people

* 4 Sections

* 4.1 Robert Jensen series on the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S.

* 5 Other publications

* 6 Criticism

* 6.1 Light rail controversy * 6.2 Sandoval family interview * 6.3 Purchase of Houston
Houston
Post assets * 6.4 Tom DeLay poll

* 7 Availability of Houston
Houston
Post articles * 8 See also

* 9 References

* 9.1 Sources

* 10 External links

HISTORY

Front page of the first edition of the Houston
Houston
Chronicle, 14 October 1901.

From its inception, the practices and policies of the Houston Chronicle were shaped by strong-willed personalities who were the publishers. The history of the newspaper can be best understood when divided into the eras of these individuals.

1901–1926: MARCELLUS E. FOSTER ERA

The Houston
Houston
Chronicle was founded in 1901 by a former reporter for the now-defunct Houston
Houston
Post , Marcellus E. Foster . Foster, who had been covering the Spindletop oil boom for the Post, invested in Spindletop and took $30 of the return on that investment — at the time equivalent to a week's wages — and used it to fund the Chronicle.

The Chronicle's first edition was published on October 14, 1901 and sold for two cents per copy, at a time when most papers sold for five cents each. At the end of its first month in operation, the Chronicle had a circulation of 4,378 — roughly one tenth of the population of Houston
Houston
at the time. Within the first year of operation, the paper purchased and consolidated the Daily Herald.

In 1908, Foster asked Jesse H. Jones, a local businessman and prominent builder, to construct a new office and plant for the paper, "and offered half-interest in the newspaper as a down payment, with twenty years to pay the remainder. Jones agreed, and the resulting Chronicle Building was one of the finest in the South."

Under Foster, the paper's circulation grew from about 7,000 in 1901 to 75,000 on weekdays and 85,000 on Sundays by 1926. Foster continued to write columns under the pen name Mefo, and drew much attention in the 1920s for his opposition to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). He sold the rest of his interest to Jesse H. Jones on June 26, 1926 and promptly retired.

GOODFELLOWS

Illustration of the Houston
Houston
Chronicle building, 1913

In 1911, City Editor George Kepple started Goodfellows. On a Christmas Eve in 1911, Kepple passed a hat among the Chronicle's reporters to collect money to buy toys for a shoe-shine boy.

Goodfellows continues today through donations made by the newspaper and its readers. It has grown into a citywide program that provides needy children between the ages of two and ten with toys during the winter holidays . In 2003, Goodfellows distributed almost 250,000 toys to more than 100,000 needy children in the Greater Houston
Houston
area.

1926–1956: JESSE H. JONES ERA

In 1926, Jesse H. Jones became the sole owner of the paper. He had approached Foster about selling, and Foster had answered, "What will you give me?". Jones described the buyout of Foster as follows:

Wanting to be liberal with Foster if I bought him out, since he had created the paper and originally owned most of the stock, and had made a success of it, I thought for a while before answering and finally asked him how much he owed. He replied, 'On real estate and everything about 200,000 dollars.' I then said to him that I would give him 300,000 dollars in cash, having in mind that this would pay his debts and give him 100,000 spending money. In addition, I would give him a note for 500,000 secured by a mortgage on the Chronicle Building, the note to be payable (interest and principal) at the rate of 35,000 a year for thirty-five years, which I figured was about his expectancy. I would also pay him 20,000 dollars a year as editor of the paper and 6,000 dollars a year to continue writing the daily front-page column, 'MEFO,' on the condition that either of us could cancel the editorship and/or the MEFO-column contracts on six months notice, and that, if I canceled both the column and the editorship, I would give him an additional 6,000 dollars a year for life. I considered the offer substantially more than the Chronicle was worth at the time. No sooner had I finished stating my proposition than he said, 'I will take it,' and the transaction was completed accordingly. — p. 121–122 of Jesse H. Jones: The Man and the Statesman by Bascom N. Timmons , copyright 1956 Henry Holt and Company

In 1937, Jesse H. Jones transferred ownership of the paper to the newly established Houston
Houston
Endowment Inc. Jones retained the title of publisher until his death in 1956.

According to The Handbook of Texas
Texas
Online, the Chronicle generally represented very conservative political views during the 1950s: "...the Chronicle generally represented the very conservative political interests of the Houston
Houston
business establishment. As such, it eschewed controversial political topics, such as integration or the impacts of rapid economic growth on life in the city. It did not perform investigative journalism. This resulted in a stodgy newspaper that failed to capture the interests of newcomers to the city. By 1959, circulation of the rival Houston
Houston
Post had pulled ahead of the Chronicle."

Jones, a lifelong Democrat who organized the Democratic National Convention to be in Houston
Houston
in 1928, and who spent long years in public service first under the Wilson administration, helping to found the Red Cross during World War I, and later famously under the Roosevelt administration, described the paper's mission in these terms: "I regard the publication of a newspaper as a distinct public trust, and one not to be treated lightly or abused for selfish purposes or to gratify selfish whims. A great daily newspaper can remain a power for good only so long as it is uninfluenced by unworthy motives, and unbought by the desire for gain. A newspaper which can be neither bought nor bullied is the greatest asset of a city or state. Naturally, a newspaper makes mistakes in judgment, as it does in type; but, so long as errors are honestly made, they are not serious when general results are considered. The success or failure of a particular issue is of little consequence compared with the all-important principle of a fearless and honest newspaper. This I intend the Chronicle shall always be, a newspaper for all the people, democratic in fact and in principle, standing for the greatest good to the greatest number, championing and defending what it believes to be right, and condemning and opposing what it believes to be wrong. Such have always been the policies of the Chronicle and to such it is now rededicated."

Under Jones' watch, the Chronicle bought KTRH , one of Houston's oldest radio stations, in 1937. In 1954, Jones led a syndicate that signed on Houston's third television station, KTRK-TV .

1956–1965: JOHN T. JONES ERA

The board of Houston
Houston
Endowment named John T. Jones, nephew of Jesse H. Jones, as editor of the Chronicle. Houston
Houston
Endowment president, J. Howard Creekmore, was named publisher. In 1961, John T. Jones hired William P. Steven as editor. Steven had previously been editor of the Tulsa Tribune and the Minneapolis Star Tribune , and credited with turning around the declining readership of both papers. One of his innovations was the creation of a regular help column called "Watchem," where ordinary citizens could voice their complaints. The Chicago Tribune later called this column a pioneer and prototype of the modern newspaper "Action Line."

Stevens' progressive political philosophy soon created conflict with the very conservative views of the Houston
Houston
Endowment board, especially when he editorially supported the election of Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic candidate for president. But more than political philosophy was involved: Robert A. Caro revealed in his biography of Johnson that written assurance of this support from John T. Jones had been the price demanded by Johnson in January 1964 in return for approval of the merger of Houston's National Bank of Commerce, in which Jones had a financial interest, with another Houston
Houston
bank, the Texas
Texas
National.

In 1964, the Chronicle purchased the assets of its evening newspaper competitor, the Houston
Houston
Press, becoming the only evening newspaper in the city. By then, the Chronicle had a circulation of 254,000 – the largest of any paper in Texas. The Atlantic Monthly credited the growth to the changes instigated by Steven.

In the summer of 1965, Jones decided to buy a local television station that was already owned by the Houston
Houston
Endowment. He resigned from the Houston
Houston
Endowment board to avoid a conflict of interest, though he remained as publisher of the Chronicle. On September 2, 1965, Jones made a late-night visit to the Steven home, where he broke the news that the Endowment board had ordered him to dismiss Steven. Jones had to comply. On September 3, the paper published a story announcing that Everett Collier was now the new editor.

No mention was made of Steven or the Houston
Houston
Endowment board. Houston Post staff wrote an article about the change, but top management killed it. Only two weekly papers in Houston: Forward Times (which targeted the African-American community) and the Houston
Houston
Tribune (an ultra conservative paper). Both papers had rather small circulations and no influence among the city's business community. The two major newspapers in Houston
Houston
never mentioned Steven for many years thereafter.

1965–1987: J. HOWARD CREEKMORE ERA

John J. Jones left the Chronicle not long after Steven's ouster. J. Howard Creekmore, president of the Houston
Houston
Endowment, took John Jones' place at the Chronicle. Everett D. Collier replaced Steven as editor. Collier remained in this position until his retirement in 1979.

J. Howard Creekmore was born in Abilene, Texas
Texas
in 1905. His parents died while he was young, so he was raised by his stepmother. The family moved to Houston
Houston
in 1920. Howard enrolled in Rice Institute, where he graduated with degrees in history and English. After graduation, he went to work for Jesse Jones as a bookkeeper. Jones took an interest in the young man’s career, and put him through law school. Creekmore passed the bar exam in 1932 and returned to work for Jones. He held several positions in the Jones business empire. In 1959, he was named to the board of Houston
Houston
Endowment, and was promoted to president of the board in 1964.

By 1965, Creekmore had persuaded other directors of Houston
Houston
Endowment to sell several business properties, including the Chronicle. Houston oilman John Mecom offered $85 million for the newspaper, its building, a 30 percent interest in Texas
Texas
National Bank of Commerce and the historic Rice Hotel. Early in 1966, Mecom encountered problems raising the additional cash to complete the transaction. He then began lining up potential buyers for the newspaper, which included non-Houstonians such as Sam Newhouse, Otis Chandler and the Scripps-Howard organization. Creekmore strongly believed that local persons should own the paper. He insisted that Mecom pay the $84 million debt immediately in cash. Mecom cancelled his purchase agreement.

In 1968, the Chronicle set a Texas
Texas
newspaper circulation record. In 1981, the business pages — which up until then had been combined with sports — became its own section of the newspaper. Creekmore remained as publisher until Houston
Houston
Endowment sold the paper to the Hearst Corporation.

1987–PRESENT: HEARST CORPORATION ERA

On May 1, 1987, the Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation
purchased the Houston Chronicle from Houston
Houston
Endowment for $415 Million. Richard J. V. Johnson, who had joined the paper as a copy editor in 1956, and worked up to executive vice president in 1972, and president in 1973, remained as chairman and publisher until he retired April 1, 2002. He was succeeded by Jack Sweeney.

In 1994, the Chronicle switched to being a morning-only paper. With the demise of the Houston
Houston
Post the following year, the Chronicle became Houston's sole major daily newspaper.

On October 18, 2008, the paper endorsed Senator Barack Obama
Barack Obama
for President of the United States
United States
in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election , the first Democrat to be endorsed by the newspaper since 1964, when it endorsed Texan Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
. It endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012, but endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Locally, the Chronicle endorsed Wendy Davis for governor in 2014 , and Sylvester Turner for mayor in 2015. Additionally, the Chronicle initially endorsed Jeb Bush for the 2016 Republican primary, but did not endorse any other candidate after he dropped out.

HEADQUARTERS

4747 SOUTHWEST FREEWAY

The current Houston
Houston
Chronicle headquarters, formerly the Houston Post headquarters

On July 21, 2014 the Chronicle announced that its Downtown employees were moving to the 610 Loop campus, at the intersection of the 610 Loop and U.S. Route 59 (Southwest Freeway ).

The facility, previously used as the Houston
Houston
Post headquarters, will have a total of seven buildings with a total of over 440,000 square feet (41,000 m2) of space. The original building is a 1970s four story "New Brutalist " building.

As of 2016 the building housed the Chronicle Production Department, as well as the offices of the Spanish newspaper La Voz de Houston
Houston
.

801 TEXAS

Houston
Houston
Chronicle headquarters in Downtown Houston
Houston
before its demolition.

The Houston
Houston
Chronicle building in Downtown Houston
Houston
was the headquarters of the Houston
Houston
Chronicle. The facility included a loading dock, office space, a press room, and production areas. It had ten stories above ground and three stories below ground. The printing presses used by the newspaper spanned three stories. The presses were two stories below ground and one above. In the Downtown facility, the presses there were decommissioned in the late 2000s. The newsroom within the facility had bull-pen style offices with a few private cubicles and offices on the edges. The facility was connected to the downtown Houston
Houston
tunnel system . Turner wrote that "in recent decades" 801 Texas
Texas
"offered viewers an architectural visage of unadorned boxiness" and that "An accretion of five buildings made into one, it featured a maze of corridors, cul-de-sacs and steps that seemed to spring on strollers at the most unexpected times."

The facility, 106 years old as of 2016 , was originally four separate structures that were joined together to make one building. Jesse H. Jones erected the first Chronicle building, a narrow and long structure clad in granite, on the corner of Travis Street and Texas Avenue in 1910. The second building, the Majestic Theater, was built west of the Chronicle building. The second building built by Jones, it opened in 1910. In 1918 the third Jones building, Milam Building, opened west of the theater. An annex was built on the north side of the main building in 1938, and that annex gained a fifth floor in the 1960s. The fifth building was a production plant built north of the original four buildings. They were joined together in a major renovation and modernisation project completed in the late 1960s. Today the building has been imploded and is reduced to rubble, with what will become is TBD.

PEOPLE

Jack Sweeney is the publisher of the Houston
Houston
Chronicle and chairman of the executive team, John McKeon is the president of the newspaper.

As of August 2015, the executive team includes:

* President: John McKeon * Executive vice president and editor: Nancy Barnes * Executive editor, opinions, and editorials: Jeff Cohen * Chief operating officer: John McKeon

* Executive vice presidents:

* Sales: Mike Labonia * Digital revenue development ">'s complaint, finding it without merit on the grounds that the statute did not apply. Rosenthal's involvement in the probe itself came under fire by the Houston
Houston
Press , which in editorials questioned whether Rosenthal was too close to TTM: from 2000 to 2004, Rosenthal accepted some $30,000 in donations from known TTM supporters. Later that year, TTM revealed that their television and radio ads were funded by $30,000 in contributions made the day before the election by two PACs controlled by DeLay.

SANDOVAL FAMILY INTERVIEW

In early 2004, Chronicle reporter Lucas Wall interviewed the family of Leroy Sandoval, a Marine from Houston
Houston
who was killed in Iraq. After the article appeared, Sandoval's stepfather and sister called into Houston
Houston
talk radio station KSEV and said that a sentence alleging "President Bush's failure to find weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq misrepresented their views on the war and President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
, that Wall had pressured them for a quotation that criticized Bush, and that the line alleging Bush's "failure" was included against the wishes of the family.

A dispute ensued between KSEV radio show host/owner Dan Patrick and an assistant managing editor at the Chronicle. The incident prompted Patrick to join the call for a boycott of the paper. The story was also picked up by the local Houston
Houston
television stations and, a week later, the O\'Reilly Factor . Eventually, Chronicle publisher Jack Sweeney contacted the Sandoval family to apologize.

PURCHASE OF HOUSTON POST ASSETS

On 18 April 1995, the Houston
Houston
Post ceased operations, leaving the Chronicle as Houston's only major daily newspaper, and the Hearst Corporation purchased some of the Post's assets. Houston
Houston
Chronicle announced it in a way that suggested the shutdown and Hearst's purchase of the Post's assets were simultaneous events. "Post closes; Hearst buys assets," the Chronicle headline read the day after the Post was shut.

Internal memos obtained via FOIA from the Justice Department antitrust attorneys who investigated the closing of the Houston
Houston
Post said the Chronicle's parent organization struck a deal to buy the Post six months before it closed. The memos, first obtained by the alternative paper the Houston
Houston
Press, say the Chronicle's conglomerate and the Post "reached an agreement in October, 1994, for the sale of Houston
Houston
Post Co.'s assets for approximately $120 million."

TOM DELAY POLL

In January 2006 the Chronicle hired Richard Murray of the University of Houston
Houston
to conduct an election survey in the district of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay , in light of his 2005 indictment by District Attorney Ronnie Earle for alleged campaign money violations. The Chronicle said that its poll showed "severely eroded support for U.S. Rep Tom DeLay in his district, most notably among Republicans who have voted for him before."

Former Texas
Texas
Secretary of State Jack Rains contacted the Chronicle's James Howard Gibbons, alleging that the poll appeared to incorrectly count non-Republican Primary voters in its sample. Rains also asserted that Murray had a conflict of interest in the poll, as Murray's son Keir was a political consultant working for Nick Lampson , DeLay's Democratic challenger in 2006. In response, Gibbons denied the methodological flaws in the poll.

AVAILABILITY OF HOUSTON POST ARTICLES

Some Houston
Houston
Post articles had been made available in the archives of the Houston
Houston
Chronicle website, but by 2005 they were removed. The Houston
Houston
Chronicle online editor Mike Read said that the Houston Chronicle decided to remove Houston
Houston
Post articles from the website after the 2001 United States
United States
Supreme Court New York Times Co. v. Tasini decision; the newspaper originally planned to filter articles not allowed by the decision and to post articles that were not prohibited by the decision. The Houston
Houston
Chronicle decided not to post or re-post any more Houston
Houston
Post articles because of difficulties in complying with the New York Times Co. v. Tasini decision with the resources that were available to the newspaper.

People interested in reading Houston
Houston
Post articles may view them on microfilm . The Houston
Houston
Public Library has the newspaper on microfilm from 1880–1995 and the Houston
Houston
Post Index from 1976 to 1994. The microfilm of 1880–1900 is in the Texas
Texas
and Local History Department of the Julia Ideson Building , while 1900–1995 is in the Jesse H. Jones Building, the main building of the Central Library. In addition, the M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston
Houston
has the Houston Post available on microfilm from 1880–1995 and the Houston
Houston
Post Index from 1976 to 1979 and from 1987 to 1994.

SEE ALSO

* Houston
Houston
portal * Journalism
Journalism
portal

* Houston
Houston
Post * Houston
Houston
Press

REFERENCES

* ^ "Total Circ for US Newspapers". Alliance for Audited Media . Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-06-09. * ^ "Web Services". Houston
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Chronicle. Retrieved 25 January 2017. * ^ Stolzenberg, Lisa and Stewart J. D'Alessio (criminal justice professors from Florida International University School of Policy and Management). "Capital punishment, execution publicity and murder in Houston, Texas." (Archive). Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology . Northwestern University School of Law , January 1, 2004. Volume 94, Issue 2 (Winter), Article 4. Retrieved on May 15, 2015. Posted by Gale Group / Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning
. p. 351-380. Available at JSTOR
JSTOR
. Available at Thefreelibrary . CITED: p. 364. "The Houston
Houston
Chronicle is the newspaper of record for Houston
Houston
and has the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the city." * ^ " Houston
Houston
Chronicle." Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation
. Retrieved on February 7, 2016. "4747 Southwest Fwy. Houston, Tx 77027" * ^ A B C D The Handbook of Texas
Texas
Online. Houston
Houston
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Texas
Online. "Foster, Marcellus Elliot (1870–1942)". Retrieved March 26, 2010. * ^ Gonzales, J. R. "Another way to get your news from the Chronicle." Houston
Houston
Chronicle. October 14, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010. The image is not from the J. R. Gonzalez article, but the picture in the Gonzales article depicts the same building that is seen in the illustration. * ^ Houstonchronicle.com * ^ Jesse H. Jones: "The Man and the Statesman", page 122 – 123 * ^ Heise, Kenan. "W.P. Steven, Ex-newspaper Executive." Chicago Tribune. August 11, 1991. Retrieved October 5, 2011. * ^ Caro 2012 , pp. 523–527. * ^ A B C D Bagdikian, Ben H. theatlantic.com "Houston\'s Shackled Press". Atlantic Monthly. August 1966. Retrieved March 25, 2010. * ^ Ackerman, Todd. "At the helm: Chronicle publishers." Houston Chronicle. October 12, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2010. * ^ Time. “Newspapers: A Deal Done In” June 17, 1966. time.com Retrieved May 10, 2010. * ^ Houston
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Texas
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Newspaper
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Texas
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Houston
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Texas
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Houston
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Houston
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Houston
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Houston
Chronicle. February 13, 2016. Retrieved on February 26, 2016. "The new complex, formerly the home of the Houston Post, will provide more than 440,000 square feet in seven buildings.The plant at 4747 Southwest Freeway was acquired after the Post closed in 1995, and has for a number of years been the site of the Chronicle's production departments." * ^ "HOUSTON CHRONICLE." Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation
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Texas
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SOURCES

* Caro, Robert A. (2012). The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. IV. New York City
New York City
: Alfred A. Knopf
Alfred A. Knopf
. pp. 523–527. ISBN 978-0-679-40507-8 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

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