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Oakland Tribune

oakland tribune, oakland tribune local news
The Oakland Tribune was a daily newspaper published in Oakland, California, by the Bay Area News Group BANG, a subsidiary of MediaNews Group From 2010 to 2016, it was published as an edition of the BANG flagship newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News

In March 2016, parent company Digital First Media announced that the Oakland Tribune would fold into a new newspaper entitled the East Bay Times along with the company's other newspapers in the East Bay starting April 5, 2016 The former mastheads of the consolidated newspapers will continue to be published every Friday as weekly community supplements


  • 1 Origin
  • 2 The William Dargie era
    • 21 1906 earthquake
  • 3 The Knowland Family era
  • 4 End of the Knowland Era: CCC and Gannett
  • 5 The Maynard era
  • 6 ANG and InsideBayAreacom
  • 7 Pulitzer Prizes
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
    • 91 Notes
    • 92 Books
  • 10 External links


The Tribune was founded February 21, 1874, by George Staniford and Benet A Dewes The Oakland Daily Tribune was first printed at 468 Ninth St as a 4-page, 3-column newspaper, 6 by 10 inches Staniford and Dewes gave out copies free of charge The paper had news stories and 43 advertisements

Staniford, the editor and Dewes, the printer, were credited with producing a paper with fine typographical look and editorial nature The competition was the Oakland News and Oakland Transcript The first editorial stated, "There seems to be an open field for a journal like the Tribune in Oakland, and we accordingly proceed to occupy it, presenting the Tribune, which is intended to be a permanent daily paper, deriving its support solely from advertising patronage"

Later that year, Staniford sold his half interest to Dewes; then, Dewes sold a half interest to AB Gibson The Tribune moved, January 30, 1875, to 911 Broadway and Gibson sold his half interest to the paper to A E Nightingill In 1876, Dewes and Nightingill, found a buyer for the Tribune

The William Dargie era

The Tribune became a major paper under William E Dargie 1854–1911, who acquired the paper July 24, 1876 The Tribune Publishing Company, was created with William Edward Dargie as Manager and Albion Keith Paris A K P Harmon, Jr, Secretary

The Tribune was a solid Republican newspaper under Dargie and later the Knowlands Dargie was a news innovator in several ways: 1876, wire service dispatches; 1877, a book and job department added; 1878, when the Bell Telephone System arrived in Oakland, one of the first telephones was installed at the Tribune- Number 46; 1883, a Saturday edition was introduced; 1887, special editions; 1888, an extra for the presidential election

On August 28, 1891, the name Oakland Tribune was officially adopted Prior names include Oakland Daily Tribune, the Oakland Evening Tribune and the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune Dargie had news offices in New York and Chicago Dargie also acquired a patent approved R Hoe & Co double cylinder press

The Tribune was a charter member of the Associated Press upon its founding in 1900

Among Dargie's hires, at the turn of the century, was Jack Gunin, a one-eyed lensman, the first full-time photojournalist in the Western United States

Early in 1906, the Tribune printed a Sunday edition, making it a full seven-day newspaper

1906 earthquake

The newspapers of San Francisco were destroyed in the earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906 The Tribune printed many "extras" Dargie lent the Tribune's presses for a joint edition of the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle-Call In the aftermath of the conflagration, San Francisco Mayor Eugene E Schmitz, declared the Oakland Tribune the official San Francisco newspaper

The circulation grew as displaced San Franciscans moved to Oakland and Alameda County The Tribune's editorial direction was then under Managing Editor John Conners After 35 years as publisher, William E Dargie died on February 10, 1911 Former Oakland Mayor Melvin C Chapman served as acting president of the Tribune Publishing Company Bruno Albert Forsterer 1869–1957, was publisher and general manager He was executor of Dargie's estate Bruno and his son, Harold B Forsterer, also served the Knowlands and the Tribune

The Knowland Family era

The Tribune Tower was the headquarters of the Oakland Tribune from 1924 until 2007

After five terms in the United States House of Representatives, Joseph R Knowland 1873–1966 purchased the Oakland Tribune from Dargie's widow, Hermina Peralta Dargie In his first edition as publisher of the Oakland Tribune, November 14, 1915, he wrote, "It is perfectly understood that what the Tribune does, rather than what it promises, will determine the true measure of its worth; and with that understanding, the Tribune, under its new control, girds to its work"

Knowland moved the Tribune to a new location at 13th and Franklin Streets on March 25, 1918 Under Knowland, the Tribune became one-third of a triumvirate of California Republican newspapers with conservative viewpoints, along with the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle The Tribune endorsed Republican candidates and "JR" as Knowland was widely known often picked and controlled Republican elected officials The Tribune would make many political careers, the most noted being Knowland's own son William F Knowland and Earl Warren

In 1921, Knowland started radio station KLX and his newspaper library The 305 feet tall Tribune Tower, an Oakland landmark, was completed in 1923 The Tribune moved its business into the tower in 1924 The Tribune Publishing Corporation, was founded by Knowland on January 4, 1928 The publishing corporation held interests in KLX, part owner of a paper mill in Tacoma, Washington and subsidiary businesses, U-Bild, Tower Graphics and Tribune Features, Inc

In the mid-1930s, JR tied in with the Associated Press Wirephoto Service He had a direct wire link for international news from London, England The mast head logo, which became an icon of the paper, showed Oakland, a port to the world and nation The logo changed with the times: the Tower, transport ship and steam locomotive; in later years, the Tower, the Bay Bridge, larger transport ship, diesel engine, the china clipper and later, a jet airplane

On September 1, 1950, the Tribune became the sole Oakland daily newspaper, with the demise of its competitor, William Randolph Hearst's Oakland Post Enquirer

In 1960, Joseph R Knowland's son, former US Senator William F Knowland 1908–1974, was named editor; he had shared being assistant publisher with his brother, Joseph Russell "Russ" Knowland, Jr 1901–1961, since 1933 Russ Knowland's 1961 death made his brother Bill sole successor to their father

On February 1, 1966, Joseph R Knowland died at the age of 92 William F Knowland was appointed president and publisher His son, Joseph William Knowland became vice-president and general manager Bill Knowland added to the logo, A Responsible Metropolitan Newspaper The Senator had assumed duties as the Tribune's publisher and editor He became the president of The Tribune Publishing Corporation

Under Bill Knowland's ownership, the Tribune had a conservative editorial position and a reputation for being strongly pro-business As the city of Oakland became more ethnically and politically diverse in the 1960s and 1970s, the Tribune was unable to respond quickly enough to the demographic changes and the political and social unrest exemplified, among other factors, by the University of California, Berkeley, student uprisings and the Black Panther movement

The Tribune's readership declined after the early 1960s as a large portion of the paper's traditional subscription base relocated to the newly developing suburbs south and east of Oakland In southern Alameda County, the readership went to Floyd Sparks's The Hayward Daily Review and in Contra Costa County to Dean Lesher's Contra Costa Times

In 1973, Bill Knowland wrote in Fortune magazine, "Any city needs a means of communication between the diverse members of its community Communication is essential"

Bill Knowland's personal life would soon affect the Oakland Tribune Two days after the Tribune celebrated its 100th anniversary on February 21, 1974, William F Knowland committed suicide On the death of their father, Joseph William Knowland 1930- , became the Tribune's editor and publisher; Emelyn K Jewett 1929–1988 became president of The Tribune Publishing Corporation

The California Press Association honored Joseph W Knowland, as the winner of the 1975, Publisher of the Year award This honor was bestowed on Joe Knowland for his progressive innovations in the operations and makeup of the newspaper

End of the Knowland Era: CCC and Gannett

In 1977, the Knowland Family sold the Oakland Tribune to Combined Communications Corporation, owned by Arizona-based outdoor sign mogul Karl Eller The Tribune Publishing Corporation, was dissolved by the Knowland Family Eller had recently acquired The Cincinnati Enquirer In 1979, CCC merged with the East Coast-based media conglomerate Gannett, and the Tribune was thus acquired by Gannett That year, Allen H Neuharth, Gannett CEO, used the Tribune as a pilot project with a new morning paper called Eastbay TODAY, which served as an early prototype of Gannett's later national paper USA TODAY In 1979, Gannett named Robert C Maynard 1937–1993 editor, becoming the first African-American editor in the paper's history In 1983, Maynard—who by this time had become publisher and with Gannett's blessing—consolidated the Tribune and Eastbay TODAY into a single morning newspaper under the Tribune name

The Maynard era

In 1983, Maynard and his wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard, purchased the Tribune from Gannett for $17 million financed by a loan from Gannett in the first management-led leveraged buyout in US newspaper history It was also historic for the Tribune becoming the first major metropolitan daily newspaper owned by an African-American This was seen as especially notable as Oakland was developing a relatively large African-American community which, by the 1980s, was becoming increasingly influential in local business and politics Maynard helped restore the paper's reputation, earning a Pulitzer Prize in 1990

But for all of its editorial kudos under Maynard, the Tribune still was plagued by financial difficulties beyond Maynard's control Facing a debt of $315 million and on the brink of folding in August 1991, the Tribune was saved by the Freedom Forum, Allen H Neuharth's media foundation The Freedom Forum paid Gannett $25 million, retired the Tribune's debt and gave Maynard $5 million in operating funds But the rescue proved to be short-lived, and the continuing financial pressures—combined with the disclosure in July 1992 that Robert Maynard had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer—forced the Maynards to put the Tribune up for sale

ANG and InsideBayAreacom

On October 15, 1992, the Alameda Newspaper Group Now the Bay Area News Group, a division of MediaNews Group that published several competing suburban community newspapers, agreed to buy the Tribune for $10 million from the Maynards The final issue of the Tribune under the Maynards rolled off the Tribune Tower's presses on November 30, 1992; and the first issue under ANG's ownership was printed at the company's Hayward plant the following day As a result, the Tribune was no longer considered the dominant East Bay newspaper

The Tribune Tower was severely damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989, yet the paper continued to publish there until ANG moved it to a building located at Oakland's Jack London Square at the edge of San Francisco Bay The Tower sat empty until 1995, when John Protopappas purchased it for $300,000 His company, Madison Park Financial Corporation, renovated the Tower in the late 1990s The Tribune returned to the Tower after it reopened in 1999

The Oakland Tribune shares a masthead with its "sister" publications: Hayward Daily Review, The Argus, Alameda Times-Star, Tri-Valley Herald, San Mateo County Times, and the Marin Independent Journal

The group's entry into the computer age was first discussed at the 1983 International Typographical Union convention; newspaper internet websites came of age in the mid- and late-1990s The ANG official website was InsideBayAreacom for the online Oakland Tribune; the website was shared with other ANG/MediaNews newspapers

On May 20, 2007, the Tribune moved permanently from the Tribune Tower to new offices on Oakport Street, across Interstate 880 from the Oakland Coliseum The Tribune Tower, a local and national landmark, remains, now housing several businesses and a ground-floor cafe

On August 2, 2007, Oakland Post editor and former 1993–2005 Tribune journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered in a targeted hit on his way to work This led the Tribune to start "The Chauncey Bailey Project", a series of articles focusing on the causes and aftermaths of the murder

The final edition of the newspaper under the name The Oakland Tribune was scheduled to be published on November 1, 2011, however BANG announced on Oct 27, 2011 that it would retain the masthead and include the Alameda Times-Star under The Oakland Tribune Other mastheads to be retained included Hayward Daily Review, Fremont Argus and West County Times which were to be combined under a new East Bay Tribune title

On August 30, 2012, the Tribune moved its offices to 1970 Broadway in Oakland's Uptown district

The last daily edition of the 150-year-old Oakland Tribune was published on April 4, 2016, as it was combined with the other East Bay papers Hayward Daily Review and Fremont Argus and the contracostatimescom and insidebayareacom websites into the new East Bay Times website, eastbaytimescom

Pulitzer Prizes

The Oakland Tribune won the Pulitzer Prize for a photograph of a small private plane narrowly missing a B-29 Superfortress in 1950, and again for photographs of the aftermath of the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake

See also

  • San Francisco Bay Area portal
  • Journalism portal
  • Yule marble



  1. ^ Marissa Lang March 2, 2016 "Oakland loses Tribune, with paper folded into new East Bay Times" SFGate Retrieved December 4, 2016 
  2. ^ http://wwwtheregistrysfcom/RTRE_oakland_tribune_tower_sells_cbrehtml
  3. ^ Tribune Tower Oakland
  4. ^ 1950 demise of Post Enquirer, cnpacom
  5. ^ 1975 Publisher of the Year award, thecolumnistscom
  6. ^ Robert C Maynard
  7. ^ Tribune tower vacancy, insidebayareacom
  8. ^ Chauncey Bailey murder, insidebayareacom
  9. ^ George Avalos "Bay Area News Group announces it will retain East Bay mastheads" Oakland Tribune Retrieved 27 October 2011 
  10. ^ "Oakland Tribune celebrates move downtown with an open house" InsideBayAreacom Retrieved 2015-12-21 
  11. ^ Marissa Lang March 2, 2016 "Oakland loses Tribune, with paper folded into new East Bay Times" SFGate Retrieved December 4, 2016 
  12. ^ "Pulitzer Prize - 1990" 


  • Allen, Annalee Selections From The Oakland Tribune Archive San Francisco: Arcadia Publishing, 2006
  • Collier, Peter A Press Dynasty Topples in Oakland More, September 1977
  • Gothberg, John Alfred The Local Influence of Joseph R Knowland's Oakland Tribune Minneapolis Journalism Quarterly, 1968
  • Centennial Souvenir Edition, Oakland Daily Tribune, February 21, 1974

The majority of this article is from the History of the Oakland Tribune

  • Proud Old Paper Has Known Power, Glory, Oakland Tribune San Francisco Chronicle, October 16, 1992

External links

  • Oakland Tribune mobile site
  • Oakland Museum of California Oakland Tribune Collection

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