Springfield Republican newspaper history

Donna Halper dlh@donnahalper.com
Wed Feb 11 01:34:57 EST 2004

In answer to Scott's query, the two newspapers (the Union-News and the 
Republican) merged in March of 2003.  Here's the entire history in a nutshell:

Union-News to become The Republican
New press, new look, historic name

Sunday Republican (Springfield) March 2, 2003, p. A1

Readers of the Union-News will see the publication's name change to The 
Republican later this month when printing of the daily paper is fully 
converted to a new color press, returning the name of the newspaper to its 
earliest roots.

The Sunday Republican name will remain, and The Republican will appear on 
the Monday through Saturday editions.

The newspaper's roots go back 179 years to 1824, when Samuel Bowles, a 
young editor, loaded a flatboat in Hartford with his family, their 
belongings, and a new hand-lever press. He poled the boat 30 miles up the 
Connecticut River to establish a newspaper in the town of Springfield.

This was the birth of The Republican.

The Union-News name was created 15 years ago as the result of a merger of 
the morning and afternoon publications.

"Printing both our daily and Sunday papers under the same name makes sense 
for several reasons," said Publisher Larry A. McDermott this week. "It 
simplifies and solidifies our name for branding purposes, and it 
accentuates the one name that has remained a constant in the area for 
nearly two centuries - The Republican."

He said that the journalistic history of The Republican is a "long, rich, 
and storied one, and we are quite proud of it."

The newspapers have also been called The Springfield Newspapers for many 
years, although no such corporate entity has ever existed and that name has 
never appeared on any of the publications. The name of the company that 
owns and publishes the newspaper is The Republican Co.

"This change will mean less confusion, and it's a more sensible approach to 
defining who and what we are," McDermott said. "We are one newspaper seven 
days a week, and one name says it all."

When Samuel Bowles founded The Republican in September 1824, the name 
reflected the editor's support for the young republic, which was still 
considered an experiment in a world dominated by monarchies and tyrannical 
rule. The political party of the same name was not founded until 31 years 

In 1844, Samuel Bowles II persuaded his father that the weekly Republican 
should become a daily with the same name. The Sunday Republican did not 
come into being until 1878. The Union-News, the present name of the daily 
paper, came about as a result of a merger in 1987 of the Morning Union and 
afternoon Daily News...

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