By Chris Daly
The Hearst Corp has decided to give itself a big birthday — 125.
That is predicated on the fairly arbitrary starting point of March 4, 1887, the date on which young William Randolph Hearst took over the management of his father’s newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner. It’s as good a date as any, I suppose, although it was another two decades before WRH really started building the media empire that still endures. Hearst, naturally, looms large in my new book on the history of journalism, Covering America, since his career lasted from 1887 almost to his death in 1951.
Fun fact: Hearst opposed U.S. intervention in WWI, and he came under attack from Wilson and his supporters. On the defensive about his loyalty, Hearst literally became a flag-waver: he ordered the editors of all his newspapers to print little American flags on the upper corners of every front page.
Don’t miss the great visuals in the slideshow and video in the company’s anniversary page. Hearst Corp., by the way, is one of the biggest privately held media companies in the U.S., owning everything from TV stations to Cosmopolitan and O magazines.