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.
1 Early history
2 Block-Hearst deal
3 Joint operating agreement
4 Strike, consolidation, new competition
5 Community presence
6 Financial challenges
8 In popular culture
10 See also
12 Bibliography and further reading
13 External links
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Building in Downtown Pittsburgh, which
housed the paper from 1962 to 2015.
The Post-Gazette began its history as a four-page weekly called The
Pittsburgh Gazette, first published on July 29, 1786 with the
encouragement of Hugh Henry Brackenridge. 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 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. David MacLean bought the paper in 1822, and
later reverted to the former title.
Under combative editor Neville B. Craig, whose service lasted from
1829 to 1841, the Gazette championed the Anti-Masonic movement. Craig
turned the Gazette into the city's first daily paper, issued every
afternoon except Sunday starting on July 30, 1833.
In 1844, shortly after absorbing the Advocate, the Gazette switched
its daily issue time to morning. Its editorial stance at the time
was conservative and strongly favoring the Whig party. By the 1850s
the Gazette 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.
After consolidating with the Commercial in 1877, the paper was again
renamed and was then known as the Commercial Gazette.
George T. Oliver acquired the paper, merging it six years
The Pittsburg Times
The Pittsburg Times to form The Gazette Times.
Pittsburgh Post first appeared on September 10, 1842, as the Daily
Morning Post. It had its origin in three pro-Democratic weeklies,
the Mercury, Allegheny Democrat, and American Manufacturer, which came
together through a pair of mergers in the early 1840s. The three
papers had for years engaged in bitter editorial battles with the
Like its predecessors, the Post advocated the policies of the
Democratic Party. Its political opposition to the Whig and later
Republican Gazette was so enduring that an eventual combination of the
two rivals would have seemed unlikely.
The 1920s were a time of consolidation in the long-overcrowded
Pittsburgh newspaper market. In 1923, local publishers banded together
to acquire and kill off the Dispatch and Leader. Four years later,
William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst negotiated with the Olivers to purchase the
morning Gazette Times and its evening sister, the Chronicle Telegraph,
while Paul Block arranged to buy out the owner of the morning Post and
evening Sun. After swapping the Sun in return for Hearst's Gazette
Times, Block had both morning papers, which he combined to form the
Post-Gazette. Hearst united the evening papers, creating the
Sun-Telegraph. Both new papers debuted on August 2, 1927.
Joint operating agreement
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
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
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.
The agreement gave the Post-Gazette a new home in the Press building,
a comfortable upgrade from the hated "Sun-Telly barn." Constructed
for the Press in 1927 and expanded with a curtain wall in 1962, the
building served as the Post-Gazette headquarters until 2015.
Strike, consolidation, new competition
The distribution center
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
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sun-Telegraph/The
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"
During the strike, publisher
Richard Mellon Scaife
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
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
Pittsburgh in Allegheny County. Relations between the Post-Gazette
and Tribune-Review, during its existence as a local print publication,
were 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.
On February 12, 2014 the paper purchased a new distribution facility
in suburban Findlay Township, Pennsylvania.
In 2015, the paper moved into a new, state-of-the-art office building
on the North Shore on a portion of the former site of Three Rivers
Stadium, ending 53 years in the former Press building and more than
two centuries in Downtown. Block Communications, feeling that the
building is being greatly underutilized considering its proximity to
Point State Park, still owns the building and plans to have the
The Post-Gazette building in October 2015.
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 partnered with the H. Kenneth Brennen family, local radio
owners, to launch WIIC-TV (now WPXI) as the area's first full-time NBC
affiliate. The Post-Gazette and the Brennens sold off the
station to current owner
Cox Enterprises in 1964. Although the
WPXI have on occasion had some news partnerships, the
Post-Gazette's primary news partner is now KDKA-TV.
In September 2006, the paper disclosed that it was 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. 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.
The Post-Gazette won Pulitzers in 1938, 1986, 1987 and 1998.
Photographer Morris Berman maintained that the paper would have won a
Pulitzer in 1964 but chose not to run his iconic Y. A. Tittle picture
that he 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
Martha Rial won the 1998
Pulitzer Prize for Spot
News Photography her photographs of Rwandan and Burundian refugees.
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.
The Post-Gazette also was instrumental in Pulitzers in 1992.
In popular culture
The paper was featured on the August 15, 2013 episode of The Colbert
Report for its coverage of a
Washington County, Pennsylvania
Washington County, Pennsylvania fracking
Post-Gazette per copy prices are: daily, $1 and Sunday/Thanksgiving
Day, $2 in Pennsylvania, including Allegheny/adjacent counties. May be
higher outside the state; sales tax is included at newsracks.
Martha Rial 1998
Pulitzer Prize Winner
Y. A. Tittle photo
^ "United States Circulation averages for the six months ended:
9/30/2011". Audit Bureau of Circulations. 2011-09-30. Archived from
the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
^ a b Andrews, p. 1
^ "The Intellectual Life of
Pittsburgh 1786–1836: II.: The
Newspapers". Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine. Historical
Society of Western Pennsylvania. 14 (1). January 1931.
^ Andrews, p. 38
^ Thomas, p. 42
^ Thomas, p. 43
^ Andrews, pp. 68, 70, 76, 88
^ Andrews, pp. 122, 135;
Pittsburgh Gazette (weekly ed.), 8 March
1844, p. 1, col. 1;
Pittsburgh Morning Post, 4 March 1844, p. 2, col.
^ Holt, Michael F. (1999). The Rise and Fall of the American Whig
Party. Oxford University Press.
^ "About Us".
^ Thomas, p. 101
^ Andrews, p. 245
^ "About The Daily morning post". Chronicling America. Library of
Congress. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
^ Kehl, James A. (September–December 1948). "The Allegheny Democrat,
1833-1836". The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine. 31 (3-4):
^ Andrews, p. 73
^ Andrews, p. 292
^ Andrews, p. 291
^ Thomas, pp. 227–228
^ Thomas, pp. 229–230
^ a b Thomas, p. 231
^ a b Thomas, pp. 295–296
^ Thomas, pp. 232, 228
^ Riely, Kaitlynn (2013-10-25). "
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette building
district placed on National Register of Historic Places". Pittsburgh
^ Thomas, pp. 281–283
^ Thomas, p. 303
^ Schooley, Tim (2011-11-14). "Block brings back
Pittsburgh Press in
Pittsburgh Business Journal. American City Business
^ "Post-Gazette signs lease for printing plant and distribution center
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Block Communications. February
^ a b Mervis, Scott (February 8, 2010). "Burgettstown pavilion renamed
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Block Communications.
Retrieved November 18, 2014.
^ Olson, Thomas (April 8, 2009). "
First Niagara Bank
First Niagara Bank buys 57 National
City Bank branches from PNC". TribLive. Retrieved November 18,
Pittsburgh Joins NBC-TV" (PDF). Broadcasting. Washington,
DC: Broadcasting Publications Inc. April 1, 1957. p. 7.
^ Thomas, pp. 236–237
^ "A banner week in station sales" (PDF). Broadcasting. Washington,
DC: Broadcasting Publications Inc. September 7, 1964. p. 54 –
via American Radio History.
^ Boselovic, Len (September 15, 2006). "Without labor deal, PG could
be sold, owners say".
^ Thurber, Jon (June 21, 2002). "Morris Berman, 92; Tittle Photo
Endures". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
^ "Bill Moushey: Professor of Journalism". Point Park University.
Retrieved November 18, 2014.
^ Jones, Diana Nelson (April 8, 1992). "Picture perfect: Photographer
wins Pulitzer for series on 21-year-olds".
Block Communications. p. 12 – via Google News.
^ "The Word — Gag Gift". Colbert Nation. Retrieved November 18,
Bibliography and further reading
Andrews, J. Cutler (1936). Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette: The First
Newspaper West of the Alleghenies. Boston: Chapman & Grimes.
Thomas, Clarke M. (2005). Front-Page Pittsburgh: Two Hundred Years of
the Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh: University of
"Daily and Sunday Newspaper Circulation". Newspapers First.
2006-03-31. Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved
"2007 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation" (PDF).
BurrellesLuce. 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
History of the Post-Gazette
Google News Archive microfilm archive 1927-2007
C-SPAN piece on the Post-Gazette
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