The Press: Hearst's Step Forward

"A giant step forward takes place in Boston today!" caroled the newspaper advertisement. This joyful declaration was followed by the announcement that Hearst's two Boston tabloids, the morning Record and the evening American, had "combined into one." Henceforth, the dwindling number of Bostonians who prefer their news a la Hearst will have to get along with a single daily, the Record-American.

In a sense, the Hearst merger did indeed represent a "step forward." It eliminated a tenant from "the poor farm of American journalism"—as the late Oswald Garrison Villard described Boston's dismal and undistinguished newspaper scene (which, besides the two Hearst...

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