The Washington Star
From 1852 until 1981 The Washington Star came out every afternoon on a daily basis. For the bulk of that period it was the number one newspaper of the city and the base of operations for several well known writers, columnists and cartoon writers.
The newspaper started on December 16th in 1852 and was founded by Joseph Borrows Tate. The paper started off as The Daily Evening Star and would undergo several name changes until it was changed to The Washington Star permanently.
The paper was obtained by William Douglas Wallach in 1853 who remained owner of the paper until 1867. Wallach successfully ran the company using civil war reports to his advantage. In 1867 the paper was sold to an investor group which turned ownership of the paper to the hands of George Adams in whose family, ownership would remain for the next 40 years.
In 1938 the company expanded its horizon by obtaining the oldest radio station in Washington: WMAL. This purchase, made in 1938, would play a part in the downfall of the company in 1981.
The company's golden years were during the 50's, but the company proved unable to cope with the changing times. Key positions were held by family members and the narrow mindedness regarding new ideas made it possible for competitors to prosper. The advertisers went elsewhere and along with the introduction of television the decline of the company was starting. An attempt for salvation was made by taking over the Times-Herald in 1954, but could not stop the readers and advertisers from moving away from the paper. With the arrival of the sixties, The Washington Post had taken over as the city’s main newspaper.
Another attempt to rescue the paper was made in 1972, when it merged with The Washington Daily News. That paper soon changed its name to The Washington star at the end of the 70's.
In 1973 the company was implicated in a scandal regarding the Apartheid policy in South Africa, where the paper's conservative nature was viewed as being pro apartheid.
The families sold off their stakes in the paper in 1975 to a Joseph L. Allbritton, whose plans met on legislative resistance from the government. He explored other avenues and eventually the paper was sold once again, this time to Time Inc. in 1978. Despite efforts to increase circulation the paper filed for Bankruptcy in 1981. After the Bankruptcy the Washington post bought all of the Washington Star's assets.