A long look back at the Daily Pilot's lineage

Kris O'Donnell

While Pavlov was studying conditioned reflexes and the Lumiere

brothers first marketed color photography, 1907 saw the birth of the

coastal area's first newspaper, the Newport News.

In the years following, many papers were born in the harbor area.

Larger, financially dominant papers, including the Daily Pilot,

absorbed nearly all.

"When I started at the Pilot, in 1962, there was us [originally

called the Costa Mesa Globe-Herald] and the News-Press [originally

called the Newport Harbor News-Press before it merged with the

Pilot]," said former Pilot photographer Lee Payne.

The Pilot covered Costa Mesa while the News-Press covered the

harbor news. The News-Press was at 2211 Balboa Blvd. in Newport


"In the early days, the Pilot was a tri-weekly and each paper was

identical except with different front pages, as this was done to

accommodate the Newport Beach readership," said Payne. "Our

circulation [in 1962] extended from Seal Beach to San Clemente."

Late in 1962, the two papers were officially joined under one name

-- the Pilot.

"Newport-Mesa was a quiet area then," Payne recalled. "We could

get a front-page story about painting white lines down the center of

the street."

Many often wonder how the Pilot got its name.

In 1955, the Globe-Herald launched the Marina, a small Seal Beach

newspaper. The Marina acquired the small Coast Pilot of Southern

California newspaper, also in Seal Beach, from its founder, former

Navy Admiral John R. McKinney. In 1957, McKinney sold the name Pilot

to the Globe-Herald for $1, asking if they liked the name and would

use it well. Thus was born the Globe-Herald and Pilot that in turn

become the Orange Coast Pilot

There have been various mastheads used for the Pilot: the Orange

County Daily Pilot, the Orange Coast Daily Pilot, the Newport Daily

Pilot and the Daily Pilot. In 1961, Times Mirror acquired the Orange

Coast Publishing Co. [Orange Coast Daily Pilot], but later sold it.

For 15 years, the principal owner and publisher of the Orange

Coast newspapers and chairman of the Board of Orange Coast Publishing

Co. was Walter Laughlin Burroughs who, in 1957, moved the plant to

its present location on Bay Street.

In June of 1960, the Pilot went daily -- by 1971, 850 boys had

jobs as Daily Pilot carriers.

Burroughs remained at the helm of the Pilot until 1968 when he was replaced by Bob Reed. In January 1989, the Pilot became a morning

publication and, in 1993, Times Mirror re-acquired the paper as part

of Coast Community News.

Today, the Daily Pilot and the Current, published by the Orange

County Register, are the only two remaining papers in Newport-Mesa.

* LOOKING BACK runs Sundays. Do you know of a person, place or

event that deserves a historical look back? Let us know. Contact us

by fax at (949) 646-4170; e-mail at dailypilot@latimes.com; or mail

at c/o Daily Pilot, 330 W. Bay St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627.

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