Cummings lost control of The Bulletin to stockholders in the 1850s. From 1859 until 1895, the paper was edited by Gibson Peacock. Upon Peacock's death, it was bought by businessman William L. McLean.
Yet the Bulletin's understated brand of journalism won Pulitzer Prizes in 1964 and 1965. James V. Magee, Albert V. Gaudiosi and Frederick Meyer won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for Local Investigative Specialized Reporting for their expose of numbers racket operations with police collusion in South Philadelphia, which resulted in arrests and a cleanup of the police department. J.A. Livingston won the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his reports on the growth of economic independence among Russia's Eastern European satellites and his analysis of their desire for a resumption of trade with the West.
The Bulletin also faced difficulties that plagued all big-city evening newspapers: Late afternoon traffic made distribution more costly than for morning papers. Also, The Bulletin faced greater competition from television evening newscasts.
The Bulletin's biggest problem, however, may have been the morning Philadelphia Inquirer. The Inquirer was on the verge of extinction until Eugene L. Roberts Jr. became executive editor in 1972. Under Roberts, The Inquirer won six consecutive Pulitzer Prizes and gained national reputation for quality journalism. The Inquirer grabbed the circulation lead in 1980. By 1982, The Inquirer’s was receiving 60 percent of the city’s newspaper advertising revenue compared to The Bulletin's 24 percent share. The Bulletin launched a morning edition in 1978, but by then the momentum had shifted decisively.
With no prospective buyers, Charter attempted to give the newspaper away. No publisher, however, would assume the paper's $29.5 million in promissory notes and $12 million in severance costs to the paper's 1,943 employees. Four groups of buyers did come forward, but each found the newspaper's prospects too discouraging.
After losing $21.5 million in 1981, The Bulletin was dropping nearly $3 million per month when it published its final edition on January 29, 1982. Said Charter Communications President J.P. Smith Jr.: "In the final analysis, the paper was unable to generate the circulation and additional advertising revenues ... it needed to survive."
The headline of the final edition read "Goodbye: After 134 years, a Philadelphia voice is silent" and the paper’s slogan was changed to "Nearly Everybody Read The Bulletin" (emphasis added). A front-page message to readers appeared below the fold in which Publisher N.S. (“Buddy”) Hayden stated: "It’s over. And there’s very little left to say, except goodbye."
The Bulletin's internal newsclipping files (approximately 500,000 pieces), card indexes, and photographs (ca. 3 million) are now held in the Temple University Libraries.
Edmond P. Reiley, Journalist and Public Affairs Officer, Dies at 100 (Posted 2013-10-13 20:25:09) ; Mr. Reiley Was a Former Philadelphia Bulletin Journalist and a Public Affairs Officer for the Transportation Department
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The Bulletin fondly recalled: In Philadelphia, nearly everybody remembers the Evening Bulletin. It published its last issue 25 years ago yesterday.(Philadelphia Bulletin remembered)
Jan 30, 2007; Byline: Tom Infield Jan. 30--When the Philadelphia Bulletin went out of business on Jan. 29, 1982, publisher N.S. "Buddy" Hayden...