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htm This profile considers the Hearst media group. It covers • • • • •
Introduction The group The man Hearst after WR Studies
Introduction Founded by William Randolph Hearst (supposedly the inspiration for a 1941 love letter from Orson Welles titled Citizen Kane) Hearst Corporation (http://www.hearstcorp.com/) is a major New York based publishing conglomerate, still controlled by the Hearst family. The group Current operations include newspaper, magazine, book, and business publishing; television and radio broadcasting; cable network programming; newspaper features distribution; television production and distribution; and new media. A brief chronology is here: http://www.ketupa.net/hearst2.htm Hearst is the world's largest publisher of monthly magazines, with 16 US titles and 98 international editions distributed in more than 100 countries. That side of the empire competes with Bertelsmann (http://www.ketupa.net/bertelsmann.htm), Hachette (http://www.ketupa.net/hachette.htm), Advance (http://www.ketupa.net/advance.htm) and AOL Time Warner (http://www.ketupa.net/time.htm). It publishes 12 daily and 18 weekly newspapers. Hearst's television holdings reach around 17.5% of US households (26 stations in Boston, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Orlando, Honolulu and other locations) through majority-owned Hearst-Argyle Television; it has extensive cable television interests. In July 2000 Hearst bought the San Francisco Chronicle (for US$660 million), after disposing of the ailing Examiner, W.R. Hearst's first newspaper. In April 2006, as part of disassembly of Knight Ridder (http://www.ketupa.net/knight.htm), McClatchy (http://www.ketupa.net/mcclatchy.htm) announced that it would sell The Pioneer Press in St. Paul and The Herald in Monterey County in California to Hearst. In a separate agreement Hearst agreed to transfer those titles to MediaNews (http://www.ketupa.net/mnews.htm) in exchange for an equity stake
in assets of MediaNews that are outside of the San Francisco Bay Area (The Denver Post and some 40 other papers). Hearst ownership of The San Francisco Chronicle threatened scrutiny for antitrust violations if the group acquired additional interests in Bay Area properties. A spokesman for Hearst was reported as commenting that Hearst was essentially lending MediaNews money to buy the newspapers. This page provides an indication of Hearst holdings: http://www.ketupa.net/hearst1.htm. A chronology of the group is here: http://www.ketupa.net/hearst2.htm The man WA Swanberg tartly observed that Hearst's ideal paper would have been one in which
the Prince of Wales had gone into vaudeville, Queen Victoria had married her cook, the Pope had issued an encyclical favouring free love ... France had declared war on Germany and the Sultan of Turkey had converted to Christianity - all of these being scoops
William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951) was the son of Californian mining magnate and senator George Hearst (1820–91). In 1887 he became publisher of the family's San Francisco Examiner and in 1895 moved east, paying US$180,000 for the New York Journal. Through price cuts and yellow journalism - exposes about vampires (the turn of the century version of Murdoch's headless body in topless bar) and promotion of the Spanish American War (apocryphally "you supply the headlines, I'll supply the war") - he boosted circulation from 77,000 per day to over 960,000 in competition with Pulitzer's (http://www.ketupa.net/pulitzer.htm) World, hitherto the world's highest-circulation paper. Hearst expanded across the US - Moses Annenberg (http://www.ketupa.net/annenberg.htm) for example managed circulation wars in Chicago and Milwaukee - and into the UK. At its height his holdings embraced property, major newspapers in 12 US cities, radio,syndication and news services, film production and magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar. He served in the House of Representatives from 1903 to 1907 but was unsuccessful in bids for presidential nomination and election as mayor of New York City (1905 and 1909) and governor of New York (1906). During the 1930s the group, like many competitors, became overextended: some of Hearst's extensive personal bric-a-brac collection was sold and major titles were sold, consolidated or shut down. His early populism soured into an indulgent attitude to fascism and an increasingly visceral anti-communism.
Hearst after WR Following his death the family built on his holdings, pruning the newspaper arm while
building magazine publishing and electronic media activity. In 1997 its Hearst-Argyle subsidiary for example bought the broadcast arm of Pulitzer Publishing. Activities are highlighted here: http://www.ketupa.net/hearst2.htm It has been strikingly more successful than those of WR's rivals Pulitzer and Scripps (http://www.ketupa.net/annenberg.htm). Studies David Nasaw's The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst (Boston: Houghton Mifflin 2000) has overshadowed the more detailed and more probing, although less graceful, William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years 1863-1910 (New York: Oxford Uni Press 2000) by Ben Procter. We enjoyed William Swanberg's jaunty Citizen Hearst (New York: Galahad 1996) and the indignant Imperial Hearst: A Social Biography (Westport: Greenwood Press 1970) by Ferdinand Lundberg, first published in 1936. Among postgrad fodder the major works are Jim Tuck's McCarthyism & New York's Hearst Press: A Study of Roles in the Witch Hunt (New York: Uni Press of America 1995), The View From Xanadu: William Randolph Hearst & US Foreign Policy (Toronto: McGill-Queens Uni Press 1995) by Ian Mugridge and W. Joseph Campbell's Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies (Westport: Praeger 2001). Judith Robinson's The Hearsts: An American Dynasty (Lanham: Uni of Delaware Press 1991) covers the family. John Tebbel's The Life & Good Times of William Randolph Hearst (New York: Dutton 1953) is of interest for the author's subsequent fame as an historian of US publishing. Marion Davies, Hearst's companion, wrote The Times We Had: Life With William Randolph Hearst (New York: Ballantine 1989). It's not particularly enlightening but essential reading if you've been bitten by the Kane bug, although we think Kane is just as much about the very clever Mr Welles as it is about Hearst. Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies (New York: Columbia Uni Press 2002) by Louis Pizzitola covers his involvement in the movie business. The Citizen Kane Book (Boston: Little Brown 1971) is a minor classic with the WellesMankiewicz script and Pauline Kael's 'Raising Kane' essay. For Welles we recommend Barbara Leaming's Orson Welles: A Biography (New York: Viking 1985). In reality, after William's death in 1951 all the king's horses and all the king's men put much of the empire back together again. Some sense of the reconstruction is given by Lindsey Chaney's The Hearsts: Family & Empire - The Later Years (New York: Simon & Schuster 1981). William Randolph Hearst Jr (1908-1993), with assistance from Jack Casserly, wrote The Hearsts: Father & Son (Niwot: Roberts Rinehart 1991) ... reminiscent of Thomas Watson Jr's Father, Son & Co.
Other perspectives are provided by Nicholas Coleridge's chatty Paper Tigers (London: Heinemann 1993), The Hearsts: Family & Empire - The Later Years (New York: Simon & Schuster 1981) by Lindsay Chaney & Michael Cieply, and Piers Brendon's account in The Life & Death of the Press Barons (London: Secker & Warburg 1982) of turn of the century publishing ogres. Hearst's holdings This list is indicative only. Newspapers Dailies include
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Albany Times Union Beaumont Enterprise Edwardsville Intelligencer Houston Chronicle Huron Daily Tribune Laredo Morning Times Midland Daily News Midland Reporter-Telegram Plainview Daily Herald San Antonio Express-News San Francisco Chronicle Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Weeklies include • • • • • • •
Beaumont Journal Hardin County News Jasper NewsBoy Marlette Leader Mid County Chronicle Orange County News Vassar Pioneer Times
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Colonial Homes Cosmopolitan Country Living Country Living Gardener
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Esquire Good Housekeeping Harper's Bazaar House Beautiful Marie Claire (with Marie Claire Album) Motor Boating & Sailing Popular Mechanics Redbook SmartMoney (with Dow Jones http://www.ketupa.net/dow.htm) Sports Afield Town & Country Victoria Diversion Electronic Engineers Master Catalog Electronic Products Magazine Floor Covering Weekly Integrated Circuits Master Catalog Motor Professional Books Motor Crash Estimating Guides Motor Magazine Motor Professional Manuals National Auto Research Official Guide to Disneyland Official Guide to Walt Disney World RAI Walt Disney World for Kids by Kids Walt Disney World Without Kids Veranda Shop etc Lifetime Seventeen
The group has extensive licensing outside the US, including partnerships with Packer (http://www.ketupa.net/packer.htm) and Sanoma WSOY (http://www.ketupa.net/sanoma.htm). Magazine Distribution
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Eastern News Distributors COMAG (partnership with Advance http://www.ketupa.net/advance.htm) Communications Data Services The Hearst Distribution Group Periodical Publishers' Service Bureau HDG International
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International Circulation Distributors Tower Publishing Services (UK) Associated Publishing Company (yellow pages publisher)
Syndication and News Services
Hearst News Service King Features Syndicate - distributor of comics, text features and merchandise licensing
Television Broadcasting, Cable and Production Hearst-Argyle Television (public company in which Hearst is majority shareholder)
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WCVB (Boston) WWWB (Tampa) WTAE (Pittsburgh) WBAL (Baltimore) WLWT (Cincinnati) WISN (Milwaukee) KMBC and KCWB (Kansas City) KOCO (Oklahoma City) WPBF (West Palm Beach) WNAC (Providence) WDTN (Dayton) KITV (Honolulu) WAPT (Jackson) KHBS/KHOG (Fort Smith/Fayetteville) WMTW (Portaland-Auburn)
Hearst Argyle Television Productions Radio Broadcasting
WBAL-AM (Baltimore) WIYY-FM (Baltimore)
Cable Television Networks and Services
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A&E (with Disney [http://www.ketupa.net/disney.htm] and General Electric) The History Channel (with Disney and General Electric) Lifetime Television (with Disney) Lifetime Moview Network (with Disney) ESPN (with Disney) ESPN2 (with Disney) ESPNEWS (with Disney) Classic Sports Network (investment) TVA - Brazilian pay tv (partnership with Disney and Abril Group http://www.ketupa.net/abril.htm) Locomotion - 24 hour, all animation programming service in Latin America (with Venezuela's Cisneros Group http://www.ketupa.net/cisneros.htm) New England Cable News (with AT&T) Hearst Entertainment Distribution Hearst Entertainment Productions Hearst Animation Productions
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First DataBank - health care databases and software Hearst New Media Center HomeArts Networks E Ink Corporation (with Motorola and Interpublic group) Exodus Communications Inc. I/Pro Media Technology Ventures Microleague Multimedia Talk City - interactive content (6.5% with NBC [http://www.ketupa.net/nbc.htm], New York Life Insurance, Cox [http://www.ketupa.net/cox.htm], Starbucks) Zip2 Corporation AdOne L.L.C. - internet classifieds Women.com (50%)
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Hearst Realties San Francisco Realties Sunical Land & Livestock Division
kay, so the Hearsts owned a number of newspapers, magazines and distribution companies in the 70s. They must've made millions, if not billons, a year. And Hearst said he couldn't spend $5 million on Patty [We know from Sara Jane Moore that $11 million was spent in total, but that still doesn't seem like an enormous amount to me if you consider the revenues that must come out of this media empire - even when it was only half the size back then] I'm not good at maths or bookkeeping, so I really need an explanation on that one...
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