Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune
Daily newspaper published in Chicago.

The Tribune is one of the leading U.S. newspapers and long has been the dominant voice of the Midwest. Founded in 1847, it was bought in 1855 by six partners, including Joseph Medill (1823–99), who made the paper successful and increased its stature while promulgating his generally liberal views. He bought a controlling interest in 1874 and was publisher until his death. During Robert McCormick's tenure (1914–55), the paper achieved the largest circulation among U.S. standard-sized newspapers and led the world in newspaper advertising revenue. The Tribune also reflected his nationalist-isolationist views, but its editorial positions moderated after his death. It subsequently became the flagship of the Tribune Company, which has holdings in broadcasting, cable TV, publishing, and other media.

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▪ American newspaper
      daily newspaper published in Chicago, one of the leading American (United States) newspapers and long the dominant, sometimes strident, voice of the Midwest. It formed the basis of what would become the Tribune Company, an American media conglomerate.

      The newspaper was founded in 1847 by three Chicagoans but was close to bankruptcy in 1855, at which time Joseph Medill (Medill, Joseph) and five partners bought the paper. Medill, a Canadian-born editor who became an Ohio newspaper publisher, made the Tribune a profitable operation while using it to promulgate his Free-Soil (Free-Soil Party) and abolitionist views. In addition, he made the Tribune one of the most influential early advocates of Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln, Abraham) for the U.S. presidency. The paper gained in stature through its coverage of the Civil War. Following the war, it called repeatedly for government reforms, and Medill was elected mayor of Chicago. He bought a controlling ownership interest in the Tribune in 1874 and continued as publisher until his death.

      The Tribune, politically liberal in outlook for much of the 19th century, became increasingly conservative under the leadership of Medill's grandson Robert R. McCormick (McCormick, Robert R). From 1914 to 1925, McCormick shared the responsibilities of publisher and editor in chief with his cousin Joseph Medill Patterson (Patterson, Joseph Medill). After Patterson left to become publisher and editor in chief of the New York Daily News, McCormick became the Tribune's guiding force. A colourful figure in American journalism, McCormick was particularly noted for his nationalist-isolationist views, embodied in his unceasing opposition to the presidency (1933–45) of Franklin D. Roosevelt and even to the candidacy (1950) of Dwight Eisenhower, a moderate Republican.

      After McCormick's death the paper took fewer editorial risks but became known for its thorough coverage of Chicago and Midwestern commerce, industry, agriculture, and social life, as well as government and politics. Following its acquisition of the Times Mirror company (former owner of the Los Angeles Times) in 2000, the Tribune Company included several radio stations in major markets, nearly two dozen television stations, more than 10 daily newspapers, and several Web sites among its holdings. The Tribune Company had also purchased the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team, in 1981. In 2007 it was announced that commercial real-estate developer Sam Zell would buy a controlling interest in the Tribune Company. As part of his acquisition, an ownership interest would transfer to the company's employees through a stock-ownership plan. In December 2008 the Tribune Company filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

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Universalium. 2010.

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