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The Detroit Free Press is the largest daily newspaper in Detroitmarker, Michiganmarker, USAmarker. The Sunday edition is titled the Sunday Free Press. It is sometimes informally referred to as the "Freep" (reflected in the paper's web address, www.freep.com). It primarily serves Waynemarker, Oaklandmarker, Macomb, Livingstonmarker, Washtenawmarker, and Monroemarker counties.

The Free Press is owned by Gannett and is the larger of Metro Detroit's two major dailies (the other being the The Detroit News) and has received eight Pulitzer Prizes. Editorially, the Free Press is considered by some to be more liberal than The Detroit News.

History

1831-1987: competitive newspaper

The newspaper was first published as the Democratic Free Press and Michigan Intelligencer on May 5, 1831. The first issues were printed on a Washington press purchased from the discontinued Oakland Chronicle of Pontiac, Michiganmarker. It was hauled from Pontiac in a wagon over rough roads to a building at Bates and Woodbridge streets in Detroit. The press could produce 250 pages an hour, hand operated by two men. The first issues were 14 by in size, with five columns of type. Sheldon McKnight became the first publisher with John Pitts Sheldon as editor.

In 1940 the Free Press was sold to the Knight Newspapers (later Knight Ridder) chain. During the following 47 years the Free Press competed with the Detroit News in the southeastern Michigan market.

1987-present: joint operating agreement

In 1987, the paper entered into a hundred-year joint operating agreement with its rival, combining business operations while maintaining separate editorial staffs. The combined company is called the Detroit Newspaper Partnership. The two papers also began to publish joint Saturday and Sunday editions, though the editorial content of each remained separate. At the time, the Detroit Free Press was the tenth highest circulation paper in the U.S., and the combined Detroit News and Free Press was the country's fourth largest Sunday paper.

On July 13, 1995, Newspaper Guild-represented employees of the Free Press and News and the pressmen, printers and Teamsters working for the "Detroit Newspapers" distribution arm went on strike. By October, about forty percent of the editorial staffers crossed the picket line, and many trickled back over the next months and others stayed out for the two and a half years of the strike. The strike was resolved in court three years later, and the unions remain active at the paper, representing a majority of the employees under their jurisdiction.

In 1998, the Free Press vacated its former headquarters in downtown Detroit and moved to offices inside the News building.

On August 3, 2005, Knight Ridder sold the Free Press to the Gannett company, which had previously owned and operated the News. The News, in turn, was sold to MediaNews Group; Gannett continues to be the managing partner in the papers' joint operating agreement.

Detroit News and Free Press logos
May 7, 2006, the Free Press resumed publication of its own Sunday edition, without any content from the News. A quirk in the operating agreement, however, allows the News to continue printing its editorial page in the Sunday Free Press.

On December 16, 2008, Detroit Media Partnership announced a plan to limit weekday home delivery for both dailies to Thursday and Friday only. On other weekdays the paper sold at newsstands would be smaller, about 32 pages, and redesigned. This arrangement went into effect beginning on March 30, 2009.

Front page of the Detroit Free Press on September 12, 2001.


Other Free Press publications

  • The Detroit Almanac: 300 Years of Life in the Motor City (2001). Peter Gavrilovich and Bill McGraw, editors. ISBN 0-937247-34-0


References

  1. Pérez-Peña, Richard & Chapman, Mary. "Detroit's Daily Papers Are Now Not So Daily," The New York Times, Tuesday, March 31, 2009.


External links




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