The name The Journal was adopted on February 17, 1897. Previously the publication had been known for several years as The Judge. William E. Hamilton, another of several early owners, obtained the newspaper about 1900 and held it until 1911, when it was acquired by the Journal Publishing Company, with A. J. Frantz as the president and Douglas F. Attaway, Sr., as secretary. By 1918, Attaway had acquired controlling interest; in 1925, he became the president and publisher. Upon the senior Attaway's death in 1957, his son, Douglas F. "Doug" Attaway, Jr., succeeded his father as both the president and publisher. Attaway graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. From 1966 to 1979, he was also the chairman of the board of KSLA-TV, the CBS affiliate established in 1954 and the first television outlet in Shreveport. Attaway sold KSLA to Viacom. He was also a former chairman of the board of Newspaper Production Company and the Attaway Newspaper Group, Inc.
In 1972, Attaway wrote an article on a total eclipse, the phenomenon in which the moon totally blocks the rays of the sun, which occurred on July 10 of that year. Attaway and his long-term photo editor, Jack Barham, journeyed to New York City to observe the two-minute eclipse, having found their desirable spot of view under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
In 1974, Attaway recruited Stanley R. Tiner from the rival Shreveport Times to become the editor of The Journal. A Webster Parish native reared in Shreveport, Tiner graduated with a journalism degree from Louisiana Tech University. In 1976, Attaway sold The Journal to the Shreveport industrialist and philanthropist Charles T. Beaird, who had served in the late 1950s as a Republican for one term on the former Caddo Parish Police Jury. Tiner and Beaird moved the editorial position of The Journal to the political left, whereas it had been clearly conservative and earlier segregationist under Attaway and a previous editor, George W. Shannon.
The Times and the The Journal shared a building at 222 Lake Street, although they were separately owned and editorially independent. The Times remains at the Lake Street location.
Closure in 1991
On January 29, 1991, Beaird announced that The Journal would terminate its daily operations two months later on March 30. The publication had steadily lost circulation and hence critical advertising revenues during the preceding decade. Readership dropped from a peak of nearly 40,000 to barely 16,000. "There just comes a time when it becomes uneconomical to go on. It was a very tough, sad decision," Beaird said.
Though The Journal had closed as a daily paper in 1991, Beaird contracted an agreement with The Times to carry on its op-ed page called "Journal Page", which permitted continuing editorial comment approved by Beaird and managed by his editor, Jim Montgomery (1945-2013), also a native of Webster Parish. The "Journal Page" finally ended its run on December 31, 1999.
Under Beaird, The Journal won several important prizes, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Coverage of the Disadvantaged by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Mass Media Gold Medallion for stories on African American history, and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Awards for Editorial Writing. "Journal Page" was a finalist in 1994 for a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing for a series on decriminalization of narcotics. Years later in 2006, Stanley Tiner's staff at The Sun Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi, won a Pulitzer Prize for public service for its reporting of Hurricane Katrina the previous year.
Notable Journal staffers
In addition to the aforementioned George Shannon, Stanley Tiner, Eric Brock, and Jack Barham, others notable Journal staffers include:
- Jerry Byrd, sports editor, later with Bossier Press-Tribune in Bossier City
- Lane Crockett, staff member from 1968 to 1977, later with Shreveport Times, entertainment editor, syndicated by Gannett
- Marshall Douglas, religion editor in 1970s
- James H. Greene (1918-1988), staff writer prior to 1950, candidate for United States House of Representatives in 1950.
- Chet Hilburn, reporter, author of The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football (2012)
- Bill Keith, former city editor, later Shreveport Times investigative reporter, and member of the Louisiana State Senate
- Perry Roy Keith, Jr. (1924-1998), former city editor, previously worked for Shreveport Times; great-nephew of Perry Keith, a founder of Keithville, Louisiana
- Bill Lee and Ed Pettis, former city editors in charge of regional reporting
- Carl Liberto, former managing editor
- Lois Norder, last Journal city editor (1988-1991), later managing editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Robert "Bob" Mann, reporter (early 1980s); currently holds the Douglas Manship Chair of Journalism at LSU in Baton Rouge]; inductee of the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame
- John James Marshall, sports writer (1981-1991), later alumni affairs director at Loyola University New Orleans
- Veronica "Ronni" Patriquin Clark, The Journal staff (1976-1991), director of the Capitol Bureau in Baton Rouge, later with Mobile Press-Register
- Charles C. Phillips, columnist
- John Andrew Prime, staff writer at The Journal prior to 1978, since with the Shreveport Times
- Bailey Thomson, staff writer, later with Mobile Press-Register and associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa
- Nico A. Van Thyn, The Journal sports writer, later with Shreveport Times and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, son of Rose Van Thyn, a survivor of The Holocaustt
- Rick Woodson (c. 1940-2013), sports editor in 1960s and 1970s
- "About The Shreveport journal. (Shreveport, La.) 1902-1991 - Chronicling America". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Shreveport Journal Collection (1921-1990)". lsus.edu. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- John Andrew Prime, "Former Journal publisher dies at age 83", Shreveport Times, February 22, 1994
- "Douglas Attaway and Jack Barham, "Eclipse Splendor: Two Minutes of History," July 28, 1972". nauticom.net. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- "Tiner announces candidacy for post representing District 4", Minden Press-Herald, December 15, 1987, p. 10
- "Eric John Brock". Shreveport Times. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- "Shreveport Journal ends publication after 96 years", Minden Press-Herald, March 31, 1991, p. 1
- Beaird obituary, Shreveport Times, April 20, 2006
- The Pulitzer Prizes for 1970
- "1953 Byrd-Springhill deadlock is still at the top of my list, June 18, 2012". bossierpress.com. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "James Greene Enters Race for Congress," Minden Herald, June 2, 1950, p. 12
- "The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 245 Greatest Games: The ascension of LSU Football". WestBowPress, ISBN 1449752691. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- "Bill Keith". pelicanpub.com. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Perry Roy Keith". bossierpress.com. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Bill Keith, The Commissioner: A True Story of Deceit, Dishonor, and Death, p. 75. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Lois Norder". linkedin.com. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "About Bob Mann". bobmannblog.com. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "John James Marshall". linkedin.com. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "Ronni Patriquin Clark". talent.me. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Charles C. Phillips, “The oil fields – A fascinating story yet to be told.” Shreveport Journal, October 10, 1966
- "John Andrew Prime". home.earthlink.net. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Alabama Writer". alabamawriter.com. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Coaches can help create a memory". rodscalvarywebstie.com. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Roy Lang, III, Former Shreveport Journal Sports Editor Rick Woodson dies in Rochester, New York, March 13, 2013". Shreveport Times. Retrieved April 24, 2013.