The Statesman Journal is the major daily newspaper published in Salem, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1851 as the Oregon Statesman, it later merged with the Capital Journal to form the current newspaper, the second-oldest in Oregon. The Statesman Journal is distributed in Salem, Keizer, and portions of the mid-Willamette Valley. The average weekday circulation is 27,859, with Sunday's readership listed at 36,323. It is owned, along with the neighboring Stayton Mail and Silverton Appeal Tribune, by the national Gannett Company.
(as the Oregon Statesman)
|Headquarters||340 Vista Ave. SE|
Salem, OR 97301
|Circulation||27,859 Mon-Tue, Thur|
The Oregon Statesman was founded on March 28, 1851, by Asahel Bush, a Democrat, in response to the Whig-controlled Portland-based paper, The Oregonian. Congressional delegate Samuel Thurston assisted Bush in starting the newspaper while Thurston was in Washington, D.C. Printed using a hand press, the paper was originally based in Oregon City, but moved to Salem in June 1853 when the Oregon State Capitol was relocated to that city. The paper was used as a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party and of the Salem Clique that ran the party in Salem. Bush and editor Thomas J. Dryer of the Oregonian are known as for setting a standard of heavily partisan coverage among early Oregon newspapers.
In March 1863, Bush sold the paper and entered the banking field. The name of the paper was changed to the Salem Statesman and became less of a partisan newspaper. In 1866, the Statesman ceased publication, only to resume in 1869 under the guidance of editor Samuel Asahel Clarke and under the new moniker of The Statesman and Unionist. The Unionist portion was removed from the name within a short amount of time. For 18 months in 1883-84, 50% of the newspaper was owned by William H. Byars, the former publisher of the Roseburg Plaindealer (1873–83) who was nominated as State Printer in late 1882 and elected in 1883. In 1884 R. J. Hendricks became the paper's manager and editor, positions he held for 44 years, and ownership passed to Jasper Wilkins and Alonzo Gesner, with Gesner selling out his part within a year.
Will H. Parry established the Capital Journal on March 1, 1888, initially as a for-profit venture and an outlet for the Republican Party. By the end of the year, Parry sold the Journal to William H. Byars (who also was elected that year as Salem's City Surveyor), one of many ownership changes in subsequent years. (In 1890, Byars was appointed by Pres. Benjamin Harrison as U.S. Surveyor General for Oregon.)
Around 1918, George Putnam purchased the Capital Journal and served as editor for 30 years before selling to Bernard Mainwaring in 1953. Meanwhile, Charles A. Sprague, who went on to become governor of Oregon, bought the Statesman in 1929. In 1954, Mainwaring and Sprague agreed that their respective papers should cooperate closely. The Journal moved into the Statesman's new facility and the two papers began sharing printing facilities while keeping independent writers and editors.
1973 sale and mergerEdit
In 1973, both papers were sold to national publisher Gannett, the company that publishes USA Today. In 1980, they were combined to form the Statesman Journal. Dating to the Statesman's inception, it is the second-oldest Oregon newspaper. The paper won ten first-place awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest in 2001, the most in its division. In the 2006 contest, the paper took first place in its division for overall excellence, best editorial page, and best editorial.
The newspaper primarily covers news in the Salem-Keizer metropolitan area in the middle section of the Willamette Valley. Coverage includes state politics, Salem area news, area sports, business news, and lifestyle news. Circulation is focused on Marion and Polk counties with a market size of 410,000 residents, with some additional circulation in neighboring Linn, Lincoln, Yamhill, and Benton counties. In 2008 The Statesman Journal had circulation of 46,826 from Monday through Saturday, and 53,367 Sunday. By 2018, the average daily circulation had declined to 27,859 Monday-Tuesday, Thursday and 33,815 Wednesday, with a Sunday readership of 36,323. The newspaper also publishes The Stayton Mail of Stayton and the Appeal Tribune of Silverton.
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