The Detroit News

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The Detroit News is one of the two major newspapers in the United States city of Detroit, Michigan, the other being the Detroit Free Press. The paper began in 1873 when it rented space in the rival Free Press's building. In 1919 the News bought out the Detroit Tribune, in 1922, the Detroit Journal and in 1960, it bought out and closed the Detroit Times. The square in downtown Detroit where the Times building once stood is still called "Times Square." The Evening News Association, owner of the News, merged with Gannett in 1985.

The News claims to have been the first newspaper in the world to operate a radio station, station 8MK, which went on the air August 20, 1920. 8MK is now WWJ (AM. In 1947, it birthed Michigan's first television station, WWJ-TV, now WDIV-TV.

In 1989, the paper entered into a 100-year joint operating agreement with the rival Free Press, combining business operations while keeping separate editorial staffs. The combined company is called the Detroit Newspaper Partnership. The Free Press moved into the News building in 1998 and until May 7, 2006 the two published a single joint weekend edition. Today the News is published Monday-Saturday, and has an editorial page in the Sunday Free Press.

The Detroit News was founded by James E. Scripps who, in turn, was the older half-brother and one-time partner of Edward W. Scripps. The paper's eventual success, however, is largely credited to Scripps' son-in-law, George Gough Booth, who came aboard at the request of his wife's father. Booth went on to construct Michigan's largest newspaper empire, founding the independent Booth Newspapers chain (now owned by S.I. Newhouse's Advance Publications) with his two brothers.

The Detroit News building was erected in 1917. It was designed by architect Albert Kahn, who included a faux-stone concrete building with large street level arches to admit light. The arches along the east and south side of the building were bricked in for protection after the 12th Street Riot in 1967. The bricked-in arches on the east and south ends of the building were reopened during renovations required when the Free Press moved in 20 years later.

On July 13, 1995, Newspaper Guild represented employees of the Detroit Free Press and News and the pressmen, printers and Teamsters working for the "Detroit Newspapers" distribution arm went on strike. A handful of staffers crossed the picket line after a month, but the majority stayed out for the entire two and a half years of the strike, including Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eric Freedman. The strike was resolved in court three years later, and the unions remain active at the paper, representing a majority of the employees under their jurisdiction.

On August 3, 2005, Gannett announced that it was selling the News to MediaNews Group and purchasing the Free Press from the Knight Ridder company. Gannett became the managing partner in the papers' joint operating agreement. On May 7, 2006, the combined Sunday Detroit News and Free Press were replaced by a standalone Sunday Free Press.

The News has significantly lower print circulation than the Free Press (more than 100,000 less, according the Knight Ridder 2004 Annual Report) though the News website is the 10th most read newspaper website in the United States.

Editorially, the News is conservative. It has never endorsed a United States Democratic Party|Democrat for president of the United States, and has only failed to endorse a Republican presidential candidate three times--twice during the Franklin D. Roosevelt era and once again during in 2004, when it refused to endorse George W. Bush for re-election.

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