Anchorage Daily News

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Anchorage Daily News Logo.png
ADN front page.gif
The September 11, 2006 front page
of The Anchorage Daily News.
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) The McClatchy Company
Alaska Dispatch (Pending)
Publisher J. Patrick Doyle
Editor Pat Dougherty
Founded 1946
Language English
Headquarters 1001 Northway Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
United States
Circulation 41,684 Daily
47,028 Sunday [1]
ISSN 0194-6870
Official website adn.com

The Anchorage Daily News is a daily newspaper based in Anchorage, Alaska, in the United States. It is often referred to colloquially as either "the Daily News" or "the ADN". With a circulation of about 57,622 daily and 71,223 Sundays,[2] it is by far the most widely read newspaper in the state of Alaska.

The current editor of the Anchorage Daily News is Pat Dougherty.

The newspaper has about 450 full-time employees in Anchorage headquarters and Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Kenai Peninsula, Juneau, and Minneapolis, MN bureaus. The paper sells within Alaska at the retail price of 75¢ Monday through Saturday, with the Sunday/Thanksgiving edition selling for $1.50. The retail price for the paper outside of Alaska and home delivery subscription rates vary by location.

Early history[edit]

The Anchorage Daily News was born as the weekly Anchorage News, publishing its first issue January 13, 1946. The paper’s founder and first publisher was Norman C. Brown. The early president of the paper's parent company was Harry J. Hill, who was also assistant treasurer of The Lathrop Company.[3] This established the theory that Cap Lathrop was really behind the publication, but didn't wish to have his name formally associated with it, unlike his other newspapers such as the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Brown did share Lathrop's views on the statehood issue. Brown became a leader in the short-lived mid-1950s movement to turn Alaska into a commonwealth rather than a state.

The newspaper became an afternoon daily in May 1948, although it wouldn't publish a Sunday newspaper until June 13, 1965. By then, the Anchorage Daily News had become a morning newspaper, making that switch on April 13, 1964.

By the 1970s, the gradual downturn in the newspaper industry was taking its toll on the ADN. Lawrence Fanning had purchased the paper in 1968, but suffered a heart attack at his desk and died in 1971. His widow, Katherine Woodruff "Kay" Fanning, took over. Kay Fanning had previously been married into the Marshall Field family (she is the mother of Ted Field, in fact). This was of no help to her, as the paper plunged further into debt as the decade wore on. In 1974, Fanning entered into a joint operating agreement with the Anchorage Times. Times publisher Robert Atwood cancelled the agreement 4 years later. By this point, the paper's news-gathering and editorial operations were operating out of a small two-story storefront building at the corner of West Seventh Avenue and I Street.

Pulitzer Prizes[edit]

The newspaper has won the Pulitzer Prize twice in the "Public Service" category, in 1976 and 1989. No other Alaska newspaper has ever won a Pulitzer. The 1976 Pulitzer was for its series "Empire: The Alaska Teamsters Story," which disclosed the effect and influence of the Teamsters Union on the state's economy and politics. The Daily News was at that time the smallest daily newspaper ever to win the Public Service Pulitzer. The 1988 series was "A People in Peril," which documented the high degree of alcoholism, suicide and despair in the Alaska Native population.

Ownership changes[edit]

The McClatchy Company has owned the Daily News since 1979, when it bought a controlling interest from Kay Fanning, who had been editor and publisher since Larry Fanning's death in 1971. Kay Fanning continued as the head of the paper until mid-1983. While retaining some financial interest in the paper, she went on to become the editor of the Christian Science Monitor.

The Daily News was the first of two newspapers that the then-122-year-old, California-based, McClatchy Company bought outside the state; the Kennewick, Washington, Tri-City Herald was the other. McClatchy would later grow to become a national newspaper company.

In April, 2014, it was announced that the Alaska Dispatch would be buying the Anchorage Daily News for US$34 million. The deal is expected to close in May, 2014.[4]

Criticism[edit]

In 1997, the weekly Anchorage Press newspaper ran a controversial article that alleged the Daily News' quality and newsroom morale had declined substantially since the McClatchy buyout and the Daily News' subsequent victory in its newspaper war with the Anchorage Times, which went out of business in 1992. The Press article's title, "Paper in Peril," was a parody of the name of the Daily News' 1989 Pulitzer-winning series. While the Press' extensive interviews (mostly of unnamed sources) pointed out genuine problems and turmoil in the Daily News' newsroom, many believed the article unfairly maligned McClatchy in general and Daily News Editor in Chief Kent Pollock in particular.[citation needed] Others believed the article unintentionally reflected at least as poorly on the rank-and-file reporters and editors as it did on management.[citation needed]

Attorney and former state legislator Fritz Pettyjohn, who spent much of the 1990s hosting the afternoon drive time talk show on radio station KENI, repeatedly referred to the paper as the "Anchorage Daily Knowles," primarily due to their mostly unwavering support for former mayor and governor Tony Knowles.

2008 endorsement of Barack Obama[edit]

The Daily News endorsed Barack Obama for president in the 2008 election, despite Governor Sarah Palin's status as the first Alaskan on a major-party ticket. The editorial board, which usually endorses the Democratic candidate, praised Palin highly for her political skill and record as governor, but concluded that electing her vice president was "too risky."[5]

Daily News charges readers for online content[edit]

On Dec. 18, 2012, the Anchorage Daily News launched a paywall on its website, adn.com, requiring readers to pay for content after a certain number of free pageviews. The publisher said in a December 2012 article that the newspaper's content has "real value" and that, "Having all our readers share that cost is an essential and important step toward preserving the foundations of a free and independent press for future generations of Alaskans."[6] The paywall was met with mixed reaction, according to KTVA Channel 11.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]