By: Lucia Moses
When Marcellus E. Foster published the first issue of The Houston Chronicle on Oct 14, 1901, with a run of 4,000 copies, it was a sign of future success that the paper had more advertisers than its eight pages could accommodate.
One hundred years later, the paper is the biggest seller of copies in the Hearst Newspapers chain with a total paid circulation of 551,854 daily.
To mark its 100th anniversary, the Chronicle has been reprinting stories from its files and running stories about how it covered major events over the years. The celebration culminated with a 60-page section published Oct. 14 that detailed the paper’s history. The section was also a business success, with a 50-50 advertising/editorial mix generating revenue “well into the six figures,” said Gary Randazzo, senior vice president for sales and marketing.
The section was chock-full of the paper’s history, but when it came to capturing the essence of news gathering for readers, current events provided the backdrop.
For the opening piece of a subsection titled “Covering History,” Managing Editor Tommy Miller assigned one of his staffers in New York covering the World Trade Center attacks to pen a first-person account of her experience.
Said Miller, “We wanted to show readers that journalists have jobs to do, but they also are affected by events like this.”