The Columbus Dispatch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus Dispatch November 5 2008.png
The November 5, 2008 front page of
The Columbus Dispatch
Type Daily newspaper
Format compact, three-around
Owner(s) Dispatch Printing Company (Wolfe family)
Publisher John F. Wolfe
Editor Benjamin J. Marrison
Founded 1871
Headquarters 34 South 3rd Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
 United States
Circulation 137,148 Daily
257,479 Sunday
(March 2013)[1]
ISSN 1074-097X

The Columbus Dispatch is a daily newspaper based in Columbus, Ohio. Its first issue was published on July 1, 1871, and has been the only mainstream daily newspaper in the city since The Columbus Citizen-Journal stopped printing in 1985.

The Dispatch and the various WBNS stations (WBNS (AM), WBNS-FM, and WBNS-TV) as part of the Dispatch Broadcast Group are privately owned by the Wolfe family. Although this concentration of media ownership might seem to run afoul of the Federal Communications Commission's cross-ownership rules, the family was granted an exemption because their ownership pre-dated the regulations. The Dispatch Broadcast Group also includes WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis, Indiana, an affiliate of NBC, and the "Ohio News Network" cable news channel.

As of 2013, John F. Wolfe is the newspaper's chairman and publisher.[2]Michael J. Fiorile is the president and chief executive officer, and Benjamin J. Marrison is the editor.[3]


The paper was founded in June 1871 by a group of 10 printers with US$900 in financial capital. The paper published its first issue as The Daily Dispatch on July 1, 1871, as a four page paper which cost US$0.04 per copy. The paper was originally an afternoon paper for the city of Columbus, Ohio, which at the time had a population of 32,000. For its first few years, the paper rented a headquarters on North High Street and Lynn Alley in Columbus. It began with 800 subscribers.[4]

On April 2, 1888, the paper published its first full-page advertisement, for the Columbus Buggy Company. In 1895, the paper moved its headquarters to the northeast corner of Gay and High streets, a larger building on a site which was previously a grocer. On April 10, the paper published a 72-page edition to mark the move. On December 17, 1899, the paper published its first Sunday edition, a 36-page paper which cost US$0.03, and the daily editions were reduced in price to US$0.02. Two years later on March 3, 1901, the paper published its first color comic strips.[4]

The paper, renamed The Columbus Evening Dispatch changed hands several times in its early years. In 1905, it was purchased by the Wolfe family, with brothers Harry Preston Wolfe and Robert Frederick Wolfe. The Wolfes, who originally ran a shoe company, had purchased the Ohio State Journal two years before. On December 16, 1906, the paper published its first color ad, for Beggs Store. On April 9, 1907, the Dispatch offices were destroyed in a fire, and the building was demolished and rebuilt. In the interlude, the paper ran its offices out of 34/36 North High Street.[4]

The paper's editorial staff traditionally has had a conservative slant.[5][6][7] The paper's last endorsement of a Democrat as a Presidential candidate, was for the re-election of Woodrow Wilson in 1916.[8] The Dispatch endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland in the 2006 Ohio elections,[9] but endorsed John Kasich, the Republican candidate running against his reelection, in 2010[10]

A competitor paper, The Columbus Citizen-Journal ("C-J", pronounced "See-Jay"), as it was known, was beholden to the Columbus Dispatch for its printing facilities, and controversy surrounded the C-J's demise in 1985.

Sections and features[edit]

Historic Columbus Dispatch building at 34 South Third Street, across from the Ohio state capitol building.

The sections of the Dispatch include the Front Section, Nation & World, Metro & State, Business, Sports and Life & Arts. The Food section is included in the Wednesday paper, while Science is published on Sundays. The Weekender section is included in the Thursday paper. A Faith & Values section is included in the Friday paper. Sunday sections include Travel, The Arts, Home & Garden, Insight and comics.


  1. ^ "Total Circ for US Newspapers". Alliance for Audited Media. March 31, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ [1] Steve Lovelady, "The Columbus Dispatch: King for a Day," Columbia Journalism Review, Thursday, October 21, 2004.
  3. ^ Dispatch staff list at
  4. ^ a b c Deitch, Linda (July 28, 2011), Memorable milestones in Columbus Dispatch history, The Columbus Dispatch, retrieved October 19, 2011 
  5. ^ Lucia Moses, "The Columbus Dispatch", Brandweek, April 30, 2001 (article at
  6. ^ "CNN Sunday Morning" [transcript], CNN, October 24, 2004
  7. ^ Terry Smith, "Wearing Thin: Thanks for your letters! Without you, this page would be, yikes, just me", Athens News, January 10, 2005
  8. ^ Kevin Anderson, "Papers back Kerry — but does that help?", BBC News, October 26, 2004
  9. ^ "For governor: Strickland has qualities needed to promote cooperation, progress", Columbus Dispatch, Sunday, October 8, 2006
  10. ^ "Endorsement: Kasich for governor", Columbus Dispatch, Monday October 11, 2010.

External links[edit]