Morgenbladet was founded in 1819 by the book printer Niels Wulfsberg. The paper is the country's first daily newspaper. For a long time, it was also the country's biggest newspaper. It was closed down by the German Wehrmacht during World War II. After the war it grew more conservative, and struggled to survive, partly because it refused to give in to commercialism and carry ads. It was briefly rejuvenated in the 1980s under Hans Geelmuyden, who resigned along with most of the editorial staff after numerous conflicts with the owner.
In 1993, Morgenbladet was bought by Truls Lie and turned into a weekly newspaper, now more highbrow in tone, with emphasis on culture, art, literature and politics. It has a current circulation of 23.637 with 95.000 readers. Alf van der Hagen has been the editor since 2003.