The Times’ 128-year history
The Los Angeles Times was first published on December 4, 1881, under the name of the Los Angeles Daily Times. When the original founders ran into financial problems the following year, the fledgling paper was inherited by its printer, the Mirror Printing Office and Book Bindery. The company hired as editor former military officer Harrison Gray Otis, who quickly turned the paper into a financial success.
Otis and a partner purchased the entire Times and Mirror properties in 1884 and incorporated them as the Times-Mirror Company. Two years later, Otis purchased his partner’s interest in the company.
In October 1886, the word “Daily” was removed from the title and the newspaper became the Los Angeles Times.
As the city grew, so did The Times. However, competition among local newspapers was fierce, and it was not until the mid-1940s that The Times became the leading newspaper in Los Angeles. Today, The Times is the largest metropolitan newspaper in the country.
In June 2000, The Times became a Tribune Publishing newspaper when Tribune Company acquired Times Mirror, former parent of the Los Angeles Times.
February 1, 1873Mirror Printing Office and Book Bindery begins printing the Weekly Mirror, an advertising sheet published by Jesse Yarnell, T.J. Caystile and S.J. Mathes.
December 4, 1881Nathan Cole, Jr. and Thomas Gardiner start the Los Angeles Daily Times, which is printed by the Mirror Printing Office. It is published daily except Mondays. A.W. Francisco, a long-time friend of Harrison Gray Otis, is a silent partner.
The Times’ first home is a small brick building located at Temple and New High streets in downtown Los Angeles.
July 28, 1882A business announcement in the newspaper states that, effective August 1, Colonel Harrison Gray Otis “will become a member of the firm, with editorial oversight of the Daily Times and Weekly Mirror.”
October 1884The Times-Mirror Company is incorporated. Otis buys the holdings of Jesse Yarnell and A.W. Francisco; Colonel H.H. Boyce buys the interest of S.J. Mathes.
February 14, 1887The Los Angeles Times begins publishing on Mondays, making it a true daily.
October 1, 1910The Times Building at First and Broadway is dynamited by union terrorists, killing 20 employees and destroying the building.
October 1, 1911The cornerstone is laid for the third Times Building built on the site of the second Times Building at First and Broadway. (The second building was originally a Times branch office at 531 South Spring Street.)
November 25, 1916Harrison Gray Otis donates his home near McArthur Park to Los Angeles County for use as an art school. It later becomes the Otis Art Institute.
July 31, 1917Harrison Gray Otis dies. Harry Chandler, his son-in-law, becomes the second publisher of The Times.
April 14, 1922The Times establishes KHJ, the first commercial radio station in Los Angeles County. The station is sold in November 1927.
September 14, 1936Norman Chandler, Harry Chandler’s son, becomes Times general manager. In February 1941, he adds the title of president.
May 1942The Times wins its first Pulitzer Prize - a Gold Medal for Public Service - for “its successful first amendment rights campaign which resulted in the clarification and confirmation for all American newspapers of the right of free press as guaranteed under the Constitution.”
September 23, 1944Harry Chandler dies. Norman Chandler becomes the third publisher of The Times.
November 1947The Times becomes the largest-circulation newspaper in Los Angeles.
April 28, 1948The Times and CBS unite in a television project which ultimately became the station KTTV (Times Television). Times Mirror, which acquires full ownership two years later, sells the station in January 1963.
1955 For the first time, the Los Angeles Times publishes more lines of advertising - 59,788,874 lines - than any other American newspaper.
April 12, 1960Otis Chandler, Norman Chandler’s son, becomes the fourth publisher of The Times. Norman Chandler focuses on transforming Times Mirror - parent of The Times - into a national diversified media company.
1961 Sunday circulation breaks the one-million mark several times during the year.
October 8, 1962The Los Angeles Times- Washington Post News Service begins serving more than 30 subscribers, including leading newspapers in the United States and Canada.
1965 The Times becomes the first newspaper in history to publish over 4 million classified advertisements in one year and the first U.S. newspaper to publish over 100 million lines of advertising in one year, with a total of 101,414,589 lines.
March 18, 1968 The Orange County Edition begins publication.
October 20, 1973Norman Chandler dies. He was publisher of The Times from 1945-1960 and Times Mirror chairman of the board from 1961-1968.
December 30, 1974Times achieves 100% photocomposition. Linotype machines are quiet at The Times for the first time since 1893.
February 1978Times Poll is established to monitor public opinion on political and social issues.
April 14, 1980Tom Johnson becomes the fifth publisher of The Times. Otis Chandler assumes the new post of Editor-in-Chief of Times Mirror.
October 4, 1984 San Fernando Valley Edition begins publication. It is The Times’ third daily regional edition.
August 31, 1989David Laventhol, president of Times Mirror, is named the sixth publisher of The Times. Tom Johnson assumes new company wide responsibilities as chairman of the Times Mirror newspaper management committee.
November 2, 1989Following the Nov. 1 closure of The Herald Examiner, The Times hires 14 former Herald staff members, purchases 10,000 Herald news racks and its subscriber list, and adds 31 comics, syndicated columnists and features previously carried by the Herald.
April 1990Times circulation reaches an all-time high of 1,225,189 daily and 1,514,096 Sunday, making it the largest daily metropolitan newspaper in the country.
January 1, 1994Richard T. (Dick) Schlosberg III becomes the seventh publisher of The Times. David Laventhol is named editor-at-large of Times Mirror.
April 8, 1996 The Times launches latimes.com, its Southern California news and information service on the World Wide Web. Latimes.com evolved from the former TimesLink service on the Prodigy network.
July 6, 1997Dorothy Buffum Chandler, wife of former Times Publisher Norman Chandler, passes away at age 96. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles honors her successful efforts in transforming Los Angeles into a center for the performing arts.
September 12, 1997Times Mirror CEO Mark Willes becomes the eighth publisher of The Times following Dick Schlosberg’s retirement.
June 3, 1999Times President and CEO Kathryn Downing becomes the ninth publisher of The Times. She succeeds Mark Willes who remains chairman and CEO of Times Mirror.
March 13, 2000 Tribune Company announces its merger with Times Mirror, creating a major-market multimedia leader with operations in broadcasting, publishing and interactive in 18 of the top 30 markets. When the merger is ratified by stockholders of both companies on June 12, Tribune becomes the only media company with a television-newspaper-interactive combination in the top three markets - New York, Los Angeles and Chicago - and reaches nearly 80 percent of U.S. households.
April 24, 2000John Puerner, publisher of the Orlando Sentinel, is named the 10th publisher of The Times.
April 29, 2000The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes mark its 20th anniversary during its annual awards ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall. It is the first time the event is integrated into The Times’ Festival of Books.
June 12, 2000Times Mirror’s merger with Tribune is complete after a majority of stockholders at meetings in Los Angeles and Chicago approve the deal. The Times becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Tribune Co.
August 14-17, 2000For the first time since 1960, Los Angeles hosts the Democratic National Convention. The Times publishes special stand-alone sections each day and files continuous updates for latimes.com.
September 13, 2000Fourteen Our Times editions cease publication as The Times moves away from block-by-block coverage to refocus its local and regional coverage on major issues affecting all Southern Californians.
February 7, 2001The Times begins a nearly two-year transition to the CCI pagination system with the conversion of the Food section. This is followed in early March by the conversion of the Travel section.
March 5, 2001The single-copy price of newspaper increases to 50 cents from 25 cents in Southern California. The new price is consistent with that of most other major metropolitan daily newspapers.
April 16, 2001The Times wins its 25th Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting by David Willman about unsafe prescription drugs that had been approved by the U.S. government.
April 28-29, 2001A record 120,000 people turn out for The Times’ sixth annual Festival of Books on the UCLA campus. The event features 400 authors.
May 6, 2001The Times introduces new B sections – called “ California” – and a partially redesigned A section, expanding and adding new content, and providing a more logical, better-organized newspaper. The change makes content, layout and design more uniform in both sections and throughout all four editions of the paper.
September, 2001The Times’ three weekly community news sections, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay and Westside, cease publication. The decision is based on a loss of advertising and a shift in editorial focus.
September 11, 2001The Times gears up to cover the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The newspaper publishes a special eight-page Extra edition the day of the attacks. Latimes.com reports more than 3 million page views for the day, breaking the previous record of 2.2 million set after the Lakers’ NBA victory in June.
September 12, 2001Latimes.com sets a new daily record: 5.2 million page views.
September 15, 2001More than 550,000 additional copies of The Times were sold during the first four days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This surpasses what is believed to be The Times’ previous record for incremental sales increase of 360,000, set Nov. 22-25, 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
January 23, 2002Ray McCutcheon is named senior vice president of advertising, responsible for all retail, national and classified advertising. McCutcheon had served as The Times’ vice president of advertising since 1999.
February 2002Latimes.com wins Editor & Publisher magazine’s EPpy award for the best overall U.S. Newspaper Online Service with national or daily circulation over 250,000. The award is one of the top annual prizes for newspaper Web sites.
March 2002The Times introduces new versions of its TV Times magazine. The four new editions consolidate 31 versions of the magazine while providing readers with more information in an easier-to-use format.
April 8, 2002The Times wins two more Pulitzer Prizes, bringing the total number of prizes won by the newspaper to 27. Alex Raksin and Bob Sipchen win for editorial writing and Barry Siegel takes the prize for feature writing.
April 25, 2002Latimes.com begins requiring users to officially register with the site in order to access feature stories and other content. The effort will allow the Web site to offer premium content and services to registered users while allowing advertisers to reach targeted audiences.
April 27-28, 2002The seventh annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books breaks its previous attendance record with an estimated 140,000 visitors, compared with 120,000 in 2001. The weekend event features 400 best-selling authors, 95 panels and 287 exhibitors. The 22nd annual Book Prizes are presented April 27, with the prestigious Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement being awarded to Tillie Olsen, one of the pioneers of American feminist writing.
April 30, 2002The Times’ Main News section migrates to the CCI pagination system, a major milestone in the two-year transition to the state-of-the-art integrated news-editing and pagination platform. With the exception of the Los Angeles Times Magazine and special sections, the newspaper is now entirely produced using the new system.
May 2002The Times and KTLA begin working to extend the reach of the newspaper’s reporting while producing richer stories for the station’s 10 p.m. newscast. Using a story scheduled for the next day’s Times as a starting point, KTLA expands upon and tailors that story for its nightly news broadcast.
Octobert 7, 2002The Times hosts the only gubernatorial debate between Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and Republican Bill Simon Jr. Tribune Los Angeles affiliate KTLA televises the debate live, as do Tribune stations in San Diego and Sacramento.
October 13, 2002The Times launches extensively redesigned features sections: Daily Calendar, Weekend Calendar, Sunday Calendar, Food, and Health. Calendar now incorporates the best of the former Southern California Living section.
April 7, 2003The Times is awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, bringing to 30 the number of Pulitzers won by the paper.
Times reporters Kevin Sack and Alan Miller win the national reporting award for their investigation of the Harrier, U.S. Marine Corps. jet fighter linked to the deaths of 45 Marines. In response to the series, the chairmen of two key panels in the House of Representatives pledge to hold hearings on the safety of military aviation, focusing on the Harrier.
Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario wins the feature writing award for “Enrique’s Journey,” a series of stories about a Honduran boy’s search for his mother, who had migrated to the United States.
Don Bartletti, the photographer for “Enrique’s Journey,” wins the Pulitzer for feature photography.
April 17, 2003The Times launches Home, a new weekly section that captures the full and diverse experience of home life in Southern California. Regular features cover every aspect of the home itself, from interior design to landscaping to personal relationships.
April 26-27, 2003The Eighth annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books breaks its previous attendance record with an estimated 150,000 visitors, compared with 140,000 in 2002. The weekend event features more than 325 best-selling authors, 95 panels and more than 300 exhibitors.
Larry McMurtry wins the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement during the 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize awards ceremony. McMurtry is the author of 25 novels including the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Lonesome Dove” and “Terms of Endearment,” of which the movie version won an Academy Award.
May 5, 2003The Times launches its fifth regional edition. The Inland Empire edition features expanded coverage of local and regional news and issues in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the fastest-growing region of Southern California. It is published Monday through Friday.
August 2003 Calendar Live, the award-winning entertainment section of The Times’ Web site, is renamed calendarlive.com and becomes a paid-content site. It is available to seven-day subscribers as a free premium service.
Sept. 9, 2003 The Times launches a new weekly section called Outdoors. Positioned as Los Angeles’ definitive source of journalism about nature, outdoor recreation and the environment, it continues the Features redesign the newspaper began in 2002.
Feb. 26, 2004 The Times and CNN co-sponsor a presidential primary debate among Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Dennis Kucinich. About 2.2 million people watch the 90-minute debate, which is broadcast live from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
April 5, 2004 The Times wins five Pulitzer Prizes, the most ever won by the paper in one year. Since 1942, The Times has won 35 Pulitzers.
Breaking News Reporting for its compelling and comprehensive coverage of the massive wildfires that imperiled a populated region of southern California.
National Reporting Nancy Cleeland, Abigail Goldman, Evelyn Iritani and Tyler Marshall for their engrossing examination of the tactics that have made Wal-Mart the largest company in the world with cascading effects across American towns and developing countries.
Criticism Dan Neil for his one-of-a-kind reviews of automobiles, blending technical expertise with offbeat humor and astute cultural observations.
Editorial Writing William Stall for his incisive editorials that analyzed California’s troubled state government, prescribed remedies and served as a model for addressing complex state issues.
Feature Photography Carolyn Cole for her cohesive, behind-the-scenes look at the effects of civil war in Liberia, with special attention to innocent citizens caught in the conflict.
May 2004 Latimes.com wins Editor & Publisher magazine’s EPpy award for Best Internet Community Service for “Faces of the Recall,” a photo series featuring some of the lesser-known gubernatorial candidates in California’s recall campaign.
May 2004 The Times’ Summer Camp Campaign marks its 50th anniversary. The program has raised $28 million to help 380,000 disadvantaged youth enjoy a week at camp.
May 2004 For the fourth time in a row, The Times is admitted to the International Newspaper Color Quality Club.
Sept. 4, 2004 The Orange County printing facility brings online its first repositioned color tower. The addition is part of The Times’ $46 million Advertising Color Expansion project, which will significantly expand the newspaper’s color printing capabilities and increase color advertising revenue.
Oct. 1, 2004 The Times begins inserting the newly re-launched LIFE magazine in its Friday editions.
Oct. 4, 2004 The San Fernando Valley printing plant celebrates its 20th anniversary. The facility also sets an industry production milestone with the first successful implementation of stacked color printing units.
October 2004 The 2004 Summer Camp Campaign sets a new fundraising record of $1.39 million.
October 2004 METPRO, the Minority Editorial Training Program established by The Times, celebrates its 20th anniversary. More than 200 journalists have graduated from the program.
Nov. 7, 2004 The first four new MAN Roland color printing press towers go online as the Advertising Color Expansion project remains on track for early 2005 completion.
Nov. 16, 2004 A state-of-the-art marketing data warehouse, developed by a Times-Chicago Tribune team, goes into operation. The database will help Times marketers target readers and prospective subscribers more precisely, help model customer behavior more accurately, and increase the effectiveness of the newspaper’s marketing campaigns.
Feb. 9, 2005 Campus Times, a free weekly tabloid focusing on news, sports and entertainment for Southern California high school students, ceases publication. High school sports news, game scores and highlights remain available online at latimes.com.
Feb. 17, 2005 The Times, along with four Southern California and one Nevada newspaper, launch “Value Network,” a total-market preprint program offering advertisers a unique new vehicle for cost-effectively reaching almost 7 million households every week in the newspapers’ combined distribution area. Other participating newspapers are: Las Vegas Review-Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.), The San Diego Union-Tribune and Ventura County Star ( Ventura, Calif.).
Feb. 24, 2005 With the completion of a $46 million color press expansion project, The Times now offers advertisers more color advertising positions than any newspaper in Southern California. The installation of 10 new color towers and the conversion of five existing color towers at the newspaper’s three Southern California printing facilities increases color printing capacity by 33 percent to 64 color pages daily.
April 4, 2005 The Times wins its fifth Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for “its courageous, exhaustively researched series exposing deadly medical problems and racial injustice” at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center. Moscow Bureau Chief Kim Murphy wins a Pulitzer Prize (international reporting) for her “eloquent, wide ranging coverage of Russia’s struggle to cope with terrorism, improve the economy and make democracy work” The Times has won a total of 37 Pulitzer Prizes.
May 10, 2005 The Times launches the first stage of a yearlong initiative to redesign its website, latimes.com. The redesign will improve and expand the newspaper’s Internet offerings, with a special emphasis on utility for Southern Californians, and reintroduces free access to calendarlive.com, the website’s award-winning entertainment section.
July 8, 2005 The Editorial & Opinion Pages introduces “Current,” a fundamental redesign of the traditional Sunday Opinion section offering readers an energetic mix of thought-provoking essays, columns and bold graphic journalism. It is part of The Times’ effort to redefine opinion journalism, both in print and on the Web, and to more actively engage readers in discussions of current issues and events.
Oct. 17, 2005 Bloomberg News® and The Times announce they will jointly conduct national public opinion polls about government and politics, economics and finance, international affairs and social and cultural issues. The surveys will be conceived and designed jointly by Bloomberg News and The Times, which will conduct the surveys, which begin January 2006.
Nov. 1, 2005 The Times launches TheEnvelope.com, the entertainment industry’s most comprehensive, year-round awards show website. Providing essential, up-to-the-minute insider coverage, The Envelope features breaking news and analysis of all things awards: business, fashion, celebrities, predictions, trends and pre- and post-show coverage.
Feb. 5, 2006 The Times launches West, a new Sunday magazine offering readers an eclectic, insightful and entertaining view of the many faces of California. It replaces the weekly Los Angeles Times Magazine, and resurrects the title used by The Times for its Sunday magazine from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s. The Times is one of the few U.S. newspapers continuing to publish a unique Sunday color magazine.
Feb. 23, 2006 In the most ambitious print-Web undertaking of its kind by a major U.S. newspaper, The Times publishes a full-color, 20-page Academy Awards® preview combining the best entertainment reporting from The Times’ Calendar and Business sections with sharp-edged awards coverage from TheEnvelope.com.
March 23, 2006 The Times becomes the title presenter of the Los Angeles Film Festival, which will be held June 22-July 2 in Westwood Village. The Times will be responsible for branding the event and all festival creative design, in addition to publishing a special June 18 festival program guide.
March 29, 2006 The Times publishes a 30-page features section chronicling 125 years of Southern California sports history. It is the first in a series of eight special features or themed sections marking The Times’ 125th anniversary covering Southern California.
April 17, 2006 The Times, ADVO, Inc. and MediaNews Group’s LANG newspapers enter into a joint preprint insert distribution arrangement including both “late week” and “early week” programs, each targeting five million households in Southern California. The programs will be sold independently by each organization.
April 28, 2006 In a first-of-its-kind innovation created by The Times and Paramount Pictures, the newspaper activates 4,500 “singing” newsracks throughout Los Angeles as part of a comprehensive print, online and point-of-purchase campaign supporting the May 5 opening of “Mission: Impossible III.” Equipped with electronic sound boxes, the racks play the famous “Mission: Impossible” theme song when opened.