The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the major regional newspaper in St. Louis, in the U.S. state of Missouri, serving Greater St. Louis. It is the only remaining printed daily newspaper in the city. It is the fifth-largest newspaper in the midwestern United States, and is the 26th-largest newspaper in the U.S. According to its masthead, the publication has received eighteen Pulitzer Prizes.
The paper is owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, which purchased Pulitzer, Inc. in 2005 in a cash deal valued at $1.46 billion.
On April 10, 1907, Pulitzer wrote what became known as the paper's platform:
I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.
In 1878, Joseph Pulitzer purchased the bankrupt St. Louis Dispatch at a public auction and merged it with the St. Louis Evening Post to create the St. Louis Post and Dispatch, whose title was soon shortened to its current form. He appointed John A. Cockerill as the managing editor. Its first edition, 4,020 copies of four pages each, appeared on December 12, 1878.
In 1882, James Overton Broadhead ran for US Congress against John Glover. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, at Cockerill's direction, ran a number of articles questioning Broadhead's role in a lawsuit between a gaslight company and the city; Broadhead never responded to the charges. Broadhead's friend and law partner, Alonzo W. Slayback, publicly defended Broadhead, asserting that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was nothing more than a "blackmailing sheet." The next day, 13 Oct 1882, Cockerill re-ran an offensive "card" by John Glover that the paper had published the prior November (11 Nov 1881). Incensed, Slayback barged into Cockerill's offices at the paper demanding an apology. Cockerill shot and killed Slayback; he claimed self-defense, and a pistol was allegedly found on Slayback's body. A grand jury refused to indict Cockerill for murder, but the economic consequences for the paper were severe. Therefore, in May 1883, Pulitzer sent Cockerill to New York to manage the New York World for him.
The Post-Dispatch was one of the first daily newspapers to print a comics section in color, on the back page of the features section, styled the "Everyday Magazine."
At one time, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had the second-largest news bureau in Washington, D.C. of any newspaper in the Midwestern United States.
After his retirement, generations of Pulitzers guided the newspaper, ending when great-grandson Joseph Pulitzer IV left the company in 1995.
The Post-Dispatch was characterized by a liberal editorial page and columnists, including Marquis Childs. The editorial page was noted also for political cartoons by Daniel R. Fitzpatrick and Bill Mauldin.
Several months prior to the anniversary edition, the newspaper published a 63rd anniversary tribute to "Our Own Oddities", a lighthearted feature that ran from 1940 to 1990.
During the presidency of Harry S. Truman, the paper was one of his most outspoken critics. It associated him with the Pendergast machine in Kansas City, and constantly attacked his integrity.
In 1959 the St. Louis Globe-Democrat entered into a joint operating agreement with the Post-Dispatch. The Post–Globe operation merged advertising, printing functions and shared profits. The Post-Dispatch, distributed evenings, had a smaller circulation than the Globe-Democrat, a morning daily. The Globe-Democrat folded in 1983, leaving the Post-Dispatch as the only daily newspaper in the region.
In August 1973 a Teamsters union representing Globe and Post-Dispatch staffers went on strike, halting production for six weeks.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
On January 13, 2004, the Post-Dispatch published a 125th anniversary edition, which included some highlights of the paper's 125 years:
On January 31, 2005, Michael Pulitzer announced the sale of Pulitzer, Inc. and all its assets, including the Post-Dispatch and a small share of the St. Louis Cardinals, to Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, for $1.46 billion. He said no family members would serve on the board of the merged company.
The Post-Dispatch underwent a major redesign in September 2005, which brought a new layout, new fonts, and localized editions for St. Charles County and Illinois. Many readers have criticized the new format for devoting a larger percentage of page space to advertisements and relying too much on wire services and dispatches from other newspapers.
On March 12, 2007, the paper eliminated 31 jobs, mostly in its circulation, classified phone rooms, production, purchasing, telephone operations and marketing departments.
On March 23, 2009, the paper converted to a compact style every day from the previous broadsheet Sunday through Friday and tabloid on Saturday.
On May 4, 2012, the Post-Dispatch named a new editor, Gilbert Bailon. "Robbins steps down as editor of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bailon takes role".
The Post-Dispatch prices are: $1.50 daily, $2.50 Sunday/Thanksgiving Day. On October 1, 2012, the price of the daily edition increased by 50% to $1.50. Six days later, its Sunday/Thanksgiving edition increased its price 25%. Sales tax is included at newsracks.
On April 28, 2014, the paper implemented a partial pay wall digital subscription online for $24.80 for eight weeks. The introductory print subscription for the same time length is $31.90
Circulation dropped for the daily paper from 213,472 to 191,631 to 178,801 for the two years after 2010, ending on September 30, 2011, and September 30, 2012. The Sunday paper also decreased from 401,427 to 332,825 to 299,227. According to Echomedia.com, the paper's paid print circulation figures (updated on June 5, 2014) were 225,889 daily and 252,000 Sunday, while St. Louis Magazine mentioned the corresponding figures from the Alliance for Audited Media in March 2014 for the previous six-month average were 137,380 daily and 223,826 Sunday. The circulation as of September 30, 2016 was 98,104 daily and 157,543 Sunday.
First appearance of the Weatherbird, February 11, 1901
On February 11, 1901, the paper introduced a front-page feature called the "Weatherbird", a cartoon bird accompanying the daily weather forecast. "Weatherbird" is the oldest continuous cartoon in the United States today. Created by Harry B. Martin who drew it through 1903, it has since been drawn by Oscar Chopin (1903–1910); S. Carlisle Martin (1910–1932); Amadee Wohlschlaeger (1932–1981); Albert Schweitzer, the first one to draw the Weatherbird in color (1981–1986); and Dan Martin (1986–present).
- Jerry Berger, society columnist, 1980–2004
- Bob Broeg, Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1946–2004
- Jacob Burck, political cartoonist, 1937–1938
- Cole Charles Campbell, editor, 1996–2000.
- Richard Dudman, national affairs correspondent and Washington bureau chief, 1950–1981
- Rick Hummel, Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1971–
- Clair Kenamore, foreign correspondent, telegraph editor, feature writer and Sunday magazine editor, early 20th century
- Joe Mahr, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist 2006–2009
- Rose Marion (ca. 1875-1947), feature writer
- Marguerite Martyn, reporter and artist (born ca. 1880, died 1948)
- Bernie Miklasz, sports columnist, 1985–2015
- Robert Minor, political cartoonist, 1907–1911
- Charlie Ross, chief Washington correspondent and editor 1918–1945
- Lou Rose, investigative reporter, 1964–1995 
- Neal Russo, baseball writer and copy editor, 1947–1990
- Elaine Viets, columnist, 1975–2000.
- Joe Williams, film critic, 1996–2015
- William Woo, 1962-1996, journalist & editor-in-chief
- St. Louis Beacon, an online-only news site founded by some former reporters and editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- St. Louis Globe-Democrat, a major competing St. Louis daily newspaper, located one block away on the same street, closed in 1986
- St. Louis Sun, a short lived competing daily newspaper started in 1989
- 100 Neediest Cases, an annual charitable giving campaign sponsored in part by the Post-Dispatch
- Riverfront Times, the St. Louis weekly newspaper
- The Sporting News, another large paper started in St. Louis at offices on Tucker Boulevard, by a director of the St. Louis Browns
- Suburban Journals
- ^ http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/new-publisher-named-at-post-dispatch/article_54763414-9f6e-52b2-a2cd-8ebd3a4ae66e.html
- ^ a b "Post-Dispatch ups buyout offer to 20 employees". St. Louis Business Journal. February 3, 2017.
- ^ Top 100 Newspapers in the United States, Accessed August 17, 2016.
- ^ St. Louis Post-Dispatch Platform from the newspaper's website.
- ^ Jolley, Laura R. "Joseph Pulitzer". Missouri Biographies for Students. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- ^ Shepley, Carol Ferring. Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery. Missouri History Museum: St. Louis, 2008.
- ^ http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/slayback.htm
- ^ Tady, Megan (February 3, 2009). "Washington Reporters' Mass Exodus". Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- ^ "ST. LOUIS GLOBE-DEMOCRAT ANNOUNCES IT WILL CLOSE THIS YEAR". The New York Times. 7 November 1983. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- ^ "Post‐Dispatch in St. Louis Publishes After 6 Weeks". Associated Press. 6 October 1973. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- ^ "St. Louis Post Dispatch to cut 31 Jobs", St. Louis Business Journal, March 12, 2007.
- ^ a b "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Now Has A Partial Paywall. So Who's Buying?". St. Louis Magazine. June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- ^ "Post-Dispatch implements partial pay wall online". St. Louis Business Journal. April 28, 2014.
- ^ As of September 30, 2012 "2012 Top Media Outlets: Newspapers, Blogs, Consumer Magazines, Social Networks, and Websites". BurrellesLuce. January 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- ^ "St. Louis Post-Dispatch". Echomedia.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- ^ "St. Louis Public Library UPDATE: A Tribute to Amadee". St. Louis Public Library, City of St. Louis. September 4, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
- ^ Johnston, David Cay (January 8, 2007), "". The New York Times.
- ^ "Marguerite Martyn Dies; Artist, Writer," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1948, page 5A
- ^ http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/obituaries/louis-j-rose-investigative-reporter-exposed-st-louis-corruption/article_b81cde0b-69ef-581e-bc3c-42beca778008.html
- Jim McWilliams, Mark Twain in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1874–1891 (Troy, New York: Whitston Publishing Company, 1997).
- Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 286–93
- Daniel W. Pfaff, Joseph Pulitzer II and the Post-Dispatch: A Newspaperman's Life (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991).
- Julian S. Rammelkamp, Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch, 1878–1883 (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1967).
- Charles G. Ross and Carlos F. Hurd, The Story of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis: Pulitzer Publishing, 1944).
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Appraised by Ten Distinguished Americans (St. Louis, 1926).
- Orrick Johns, Time of Our Lives: The Story of My Father and Myself, (New York, 1937). George Sibley Johns, father of the author, was editor of the Post-Dispatch for many years, and was the last of Joseph Pulitzer's "Fighting Editors".
- Dan Martin, The story of the First 100 Years of the St. Louis Post Dispatch Weatherbird (St. Louis, 2001).