St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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March 23, 2009 front page of the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
|Format||Compact (March 23, 2009)|
|Founded||December 12, 1878
by Joseph Pulitzer
299,227 Sunday 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. Although written to serve Greater St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the midwestern United States, and is available and read as far west as Kansas City, Missouri, as far south as Memphis, Tennessee, and as far north as Springfield, Illinois. It is the one and only remaining printed daily newspaper in St. Louis.
Early years 
In 1878, Joseph Pulitzer purchased the St. Louis Westliche Post, a German-American newspaper where he had worked, and the St. Louis Dispatch, and merged the two papers to be called the St. Louis Post and Dispatch, which was shortened to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Its first edition, 4,020 copies of four pages each, appeared on December 12, 1878.
On April 10, 1907, Pulitzer wrote what became known as the paper's platform:
I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.
After his retirement, generations of Pulitzers guided the newspaper, ending when great-grandson Joseph Pulitzer IV left the company in 1995.
The old Post-Dispatch was characterized by a liberal editorial page and columnists, including Marquis Childs. The editorial page was noted also for political cartoons by Daniel R. Fitzpatrick and Bill Mauldin.
Several months prior to the anniversary edition, the newspaper published a 63rd anniversary tribute to "Our Own Oddities," a lighthearted feature that ran from 1940 to 1990.
On February 11, 1901, the paper introduced a front page feature called the "Weatherbird", a cartoon bird accompanying the daily weather forecast. "Weatherbird" is the oldest, continuous cartoon in the United States today. Created by Harry B. Martin, who drew it through 1903, it has since been drawn by Oscar Chopin, 1903–1910; S. Carlisle Martin, 1910–1932; Amadee Wohlschlaeger, 1932–1981; Albert Schweitzer, the first one to draw the Weatherbird in color, 1981–1986; and Dan Martin, 1986–present. Peters Shoe Company in St. Louis made Weatherbird Shoes.
21st century 
On January 13, 2004, the Post-Dispatch published a 125th anniversary edition, which included some highlights of the paper's 125 years:
- The story of Charles Lindbergh, whose flight across the Atlantic was a success despite his being denied financial or written support from the Post-Dispatch.
- A Pulitzer Prize-winning campaign to clean up smoke pollution in St. Louis. For a time in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the city was considered to have the filthiest air in America. see 1939 St. Louis smog
- The sports coverage, including nine "St. Louis baseball Cardinals" championships, an NBA title by the St. Louis Hawks in 1958, and the 2000 Super Bowl victory of the St. Louis Rams.
- Coverage of the city's "cultural icons" including Kate Chopin, Tennessee Williams, Chuck Berry, and Miles Davis.
On January 31, 2005, Michael Pulitzer announced the sale of Pulitzer, Inc. and all its assets, including the Post-Dispatch and a small share of the St. Louis Cardinals, to Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, for $1.46 billion. He announced that no family members would serve on the board of the merged company.
The Post-Dispatch underwent a major redesign in September 2005, which brought a new layout, new fonts, and localized editions for St. Charles County and Illinois. Many readers have criticized the new format for devoting a larger percentage of page space to advertisements and relying too much on wire services and dispatches from other newspapers.
The Post-Dispatch said March 12, 2007 it eliminated 31 jobs mostly in its circulation, classified phone rooms, production, purchasing, telephone operations and marketing departments.
Circulation dropped for the daily paper from 213,472 to 191,631 to 178,801 for the two years after 2010, ending on September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2012. The Sunday paper also decreased from 401,427 to 332,825 to 299,227.
On May 4, 2012, the Post-Dispatch named a new editor, Gilbert Bailon. "Robbins steps down as editor of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bailon takes role".
The Post-Dispatch prices are: $1.50 daily, $2.50 Sunday/Thanksgiving Day. On October 1, 2012 the price of the daily edition increased by 50% to $1.50. Six days later its Sunday/Thanksgiving edition increased its price 25%.
- Harper Barnes, film and music critic, 1965–1970, 1974–1997.
- Jerry Berger, society columnist, 1980–2004.
- Bob Broeg, Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1946–2004.
- Jacob Burck, political cartoonist, 1937–1938.
- Cole Charles Campbell, editor, 1996–2000.
- Robert Cohen, photographer, 1999–
- Richard Dudman, national affairs correspondent and Washington bureau chief, 1950–1981
- Rick Hummel Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1971–
- Bill McClellan, columnist, 1980–
- Bernie Miklasz, sports columnist, 1985–
- Eric Mink, media critic, op-ed editor/columnist, 1977–1993, 2004–2009.
- Robert Minor, political cartoonist, 1907–1911.
- Joe Pollack, film, drama and restaurant critic, 1972–1995.
- Elaine Viets, columnist, 1975–2000.
- Joe Williams, film critic, 1996–
- Amadee Wohlschlager, cartoonist, sports cartoonist, Weatherbird artist, 1932–1981
- Dan Martin, cartoonist, Weatherbird artist, 1986-present
See also 
- St. Louis Beacon, an online-only news site founded by some former reporters and editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- St. Louis Globe-Democrat, a major competing St. Louis daily newspaper, located one block away on the same street, closed in 1986
- St. Louis Sun, a short lived competing daily newspaper started in 1989
- 100 Neediest Cases, an annual charitable giving campaign sponsored in part by the Post-Dispatch
- Riverfront Times, the St. Louis weekly newspaper
- The Sporting News, another large paper started in St. Louis at offices on Tucker Boulevard, by a director of the St. Louis Browns
- Suburban Journals
- As of Sept. 30, 2012 "2012 Top Media Outlets: Newspapers, Blogs, Consumer Magazines, Social Networks, and Websites". BurrellesLuce. January 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- Tady, Megan (February 3, 2009). "Washington Reporters’ Mass Exodus". Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch Platform from the newspaper's website.
- "National Register of Historic Places, Inventory Nomination Form: Peters Shoe Company Building". Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "St. Louis Post Dispatch to cut 31 Jobs," St. Louis Business Journal, March 12, 2007.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch website
- Official mobile site
- Circulation numbers (MO St. Louis) for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,(as of Sept. 30, 2008)
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch Online Store
- Weatherbird Wiki
Further reading 
- Jim McWilliams, Mark Twain in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1874–1891 (Troy, NY: Whitston Publishing Company, 1997).
- Daniel W. Pfaff, Joseph Pulitzer II and the Post-Dispatch: A Newspaperman's Life (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991).
- Julian S. Rammelkamp, Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch, 1878–1883 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967).
- Florence Rebekah Beatty Brown, The Negro as Portrayed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1920–1950 (c. 1951).
- Charles G. Ross and Carlos F. Hurd, The Story of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis: Pulitzer Publishing, 1944).
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Appraised by Ten Distinguished Americans (St. Louis, 1926).
- Orrick Johns, Time of Our Lives: The Story of My Father and Myself, (New York, 1937). George Sibley Johns, father of the author, was editor of the Post-Dispatch for many years, and was the last of Joseph Pulitzer's "Fighting Editors".
- Dan Martin, The story of the First 100 Years of the St. Louis Post Dispatch Weatherbird (St. Louis, 2001).