The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a daily morning broadsheet printed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. It is the primary newspaper in Milwaukee, the largest newspaper in Wisconsin and is distributed widely throughout the state. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a subsidary of Journal Communications, which is publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Journal Sentinel was first printed on Sunday, April 2, 1995, the result of the consolidation of operations between the afternoon Milwaukee Journal and the morning Milwaukee Sentinel, which had been owned by the same company, Journal Communications, for more than thirty years. The new Journal Sentinel then became a seven-day morning paper.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel began printing operations at its new printing facility in early 2003. The presses are located in West Milwaukee, WI. In September of 2006, the Journal Sentinel announced it, "signed a five-year agreement to print the national edition of USA TODAY for distribution in the northern and western suburbs of Chicago and the eastern half of Wisconsin.
The legacies of both papers are acknowledged on the editorial pages today, with the names of the Sentinel's Solomon Juneau and the Journal's Lucius Nieman and Harry J. Grant listed below their respective newspaper's flags. The merged paper's volume/edition numbers follow those of the Journal.
Hearst operated the Sentinel until 1962, when, following a long and costly strike, it abruptly announced the closing of the paper. Although Hearst claimed that the paper had lost money for years, The Journal Company, concerned about the loss of an important voice (and facing questions about its own dominance of the Milwaukee media market), agreed to buy the Sentinel name, subscription lists, and any "good will" associated with the name. The News-Sentinel building at Plankinton and Michigan was torn down; the presses were shipped to Hearst's San Francisco papers, and Sentinel operations moved to Journal Square, with Hearst retaining WISN Radio and WISN-TV (WISN-TV remains with forerunner company Hearst-Argyle, while WISN Radio is owned by Clear Channel). The Sentinel was a morning broadsheet, published Sunday through Saturday; following the sale to The Journal Company it became a Monday-through-Saturday paper.
The Journal would launch WTMJ (AM) (620) in 1927 after purchasing WKAF and changing the call letters, W9XAO/W55M/WMFM/WTMJ-FM (now WKTI-FM 94.5) in 1940, then WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in 1947; all three stations remain Journal-owned today.
Nieman's successor, Harry J. Grant, introduced an employee stock-purchase plan in 1937, and as a result 98% of Journal stock was held by its employees. A small bloc of Journal stock was given to Harvard College, and funded the Nieman Fellowship program for promising journalists.
Competing with two raucous Hearst papers filled with gossip, features and comic strips, Harry Grant took a more sober approach to news presentation, emphasizing local news. During his years as editor and publisher, the Journal received several Pulitzers and other awards from its peers; it was under Grant that the Journal gained a reputation as a leading voice of moderate midwestern liberalism. During the 1950s, the Journal was outspoken in its opposition to Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy and his search for communist influence in government, which perhaps inflated the Journal's reputation for liberalism.
At its circulation peak in the early 1960s, the Journal sold about 400,000 copies daily and 600,000 on Sunday. The Journal was a Monday-through-Saturday afternoon broadsheet, also publishing Sunday mornings; though circulation had declined from its peak, it still held a rare position for an afternoon paper, dominating its market up until 1995, when the Journal and Sentinel were consolidated.
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