El Pueblo Vasco was shut down by the Republican government July 17, 1936, just before the Spanish Civil War. It was almost a year later, July 6, 1937, when the paper published again, after the fall of Bilbao; it was joined on newsstands by El Correo Español, the official newspaper of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS, the Spanish fascist party, using the seized presses of the Basque nationalist daily Euzkadi.
By order of dictator Francisco Franco's government on April 13, 1938, the two papers combined asEl Correo Español-El Pueblo Vasco, owned by El Pueblo Vasco S.A. but controlled by the Falange. During the first 15 years of Franco's reign, El Correo acquired its competitors El Noticiero Bilbaíno (1939) and El Diario Vasco (1945). Upon this last purchase, the company's name was changed to Bilbao Editorial S.A.
The year 1965 saw El Correo move to its current offices in Calle Pintor Losada, convert to tabloid size and increase the number of pages. In 1976, El Correo for the first time surpassed La Gaceta del Norte in sales, becoming the best-selling newspaper in northern Spain.
Also around this time, publisher Javier de Ybarra y Bergé was kidnapped and murdered by ETA, a Basque nationalist armed organisation. El Correo was the original promoter of La Vuelta, the yearly bicycle race around Spain. However, due to ETA's threats, it was decades ago that La Vuelta passed through the Basque Country.
The 1980s brought geographic expansion, as El Correo began to publish editions outside the immediate Bilbao area and purchase El Diario Montañés, a newspaper in Santander. The paper now publishes nine local editions: five within the province of Vizcaya, which includes Bilbao, and one each serving the provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa (sharing territory with El Diario Vasco, Burgos (in the city of Miranda de Ebro) and La Rioja.
El Correo, El Diario Vasco and El Diario Montañés are now published by Grupo Vocento, a nationwide communications company. Vocento also acquired ABC from Madrid. They sometimes share content such as the Iraq invasion "embedded" coverage by Mercedes Gallego.