Charleston Daily Mail
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2011)|
|Owner||The Daily Gazette Company|
The Daily Mail was founded in 1914 by former Alaska Gov. Walter Eli Clark and remained the property of his heirs until 1987. Governor Clark described the newspaper as an "independent Republican" publication. The newspaper published in the afternoons, Monday-Saturday, with a Sunday morning edition, until 1961, when the paper entered into a Joint Operating Agreement with the morning Charleston Gazette and the new Sunday Charleston Gazette-Mail was substituted and the Daily Mail began a six-day publishing schedule.
In 1987, the Clark heirs sold the paper to the Toronto based Thomson Newspapers. The new owners moderated the political views of the paper to some degree. In 1998, Thomson sold the Daily Mail to the Denver-based MediaNews Group.
In May 2004, MediaNews sold the paper to the Daily Gazette Company, the owners of the morning newspaper. The new owner reduced the staff and canceled its Saturday edition, publishing Monday-Friday afternoons from 2004-2009. It also began to market the paper in an uncompetitive manner in an attempt to drive its circulation down to the point it could be closed. The United States Department of Justice filed suit under antitrust laws almost immediately. In the course of the lawsuit it was discovered that the Daily Gazette Company had presented a business plan to the United Bank which projected a shut down of the paper no later than 2007.
In January 2009, the paper was switched to a morning publication and a Saturday version of the Gazette-Mail was launched.
On January 20, 2010, the Daily Gazette Company and the Justice Department settled relative to violations in the purchase of the Daily Mail and the Daily Gazette Company's management of it. Under the terms of the settlement, the previous owner, the Media News Group, will hold a perpetual option to re-purchase 20% of the paper, will have two of five seats on the management board, and will determine the size of the budget for its news staff and choose its editorial content. The Daily Gazette will be required to seek government permission to cease publication of the Daily Mail and the intellectual property of the paper will pass to the Media News Group should it ever be shut down, including the domain name dailymail.com which the newspaper beat the larger London paper in registering.
The Charleston Daily Mail sponsors the Daily Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival held at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field at the end of September of each year.
The Daily Mail has won awards in many fields. J.D. Maurice, its editor of many years until his retirement in 1978, won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial writing in 1958 and the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished editorial writing in 1975.
The newspaper's motto, as chosen by Gov. Clark, is "Without, or With, Offence to Friends or Foes, I Sketch Your World Exactly as It Goes." The paper features an "everyman" cartoon character, Charley West (or occasionally his wife, Virginia "Ginny" West, or their dog, Cap West) who has a one-line comment on the news of the day on its front page.