Introduction to Tennessee News Media.
Tennessee is a US state located in the southeastern part of the country and shares its borders with Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri. In the east, Tennessee has the Appalachian Mountains, while the Mississippi River acts as its western border. The capital of Tennessee is Nashville and it had an estimated population of 670,820 in 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau. The state’s second largest city, Memphis, had a population of 651,073 in the same year.
History of Tennessee Newspapers
Rogersville, a town in Tennessee, welcomed the first newspaper of the state on November 5, 1791. George Roulstone started the first paper under the title of The Knoxville “Gazette“, mainly because he wanted to move the press to Knoxville, a city on the Tennessee River. He knew that Knoxville will become the state capital in future, though it eventually happened in 1792. Roulstone published the first issue of The Knoxville “Gazette“ in the capital city on May 4, 1793, and continued it until 1797.
With one year without any publication, Roulstone started another newspaper in 1798 under the title of the “Register”. The subtitle of the state’s second newspaper was “The Genius of Liberty“. Roulstone witnessed another year of lapse and revived The Knoxville “Gazette“ with a new title “Impartial Observer“ in 1799. In the early years of the 19th century, Tennessee welcomed a plethora of newspapers.
More than 85 daily and non daily newspapers are published in Tennessee. Close to 15 newspapers have been defunct in the state. Knoxville News Sentinel is the most read newspaper in the state with a circulation of 75,143 copies. The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Kingsport Times-News, Johnson City Press, Citizen Tribune and The Daily Times are among other prominent newspapers of Tennessee.
Tennessee newspapers and websites’ list
Here below we present you a list of some of the most prominent newspapers and websites operating in Tennessee. With this list of prominent Tennessee newspapers and other publications, we have tried to explain the origin, operations, status and relevance of these Tennessee based mediahouses.
The Tennessean is a daily newspaper published in the English language in Nashville. The first issue of the daily was launched on May 12, 1907. Founded by 28-year-old attorney, Col. Luke Lea, it was initially known as Nashville Tennessean. Interestingly, it traces its roots back to 1812 as Nashville Whig, a weekly newspaper. Currently, owned by Gannett, it is printed seven days a week. The Tennessean has circulation in 8 counties in southern Kentucky and 39 counties in Middle Tennessee.
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Chattanooga Times Free Press is a daily newspaper published in the broadsheet format in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The first issue of Chattanooga Times Free Press was published on January 5, 1999. However, its root traces back to December 15, 1869 when The Chattanooga Times was printed for the first time. It was founded by Kirby & Gamble. In 1998, Free Press was bought by Walter E. Hussman, Jr. and after a year, he acquired Times as well. The two papers were merged to form Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The newspaper is circulated in the Chattanooga region of southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia. One of the major newspapers of Tennessee is owned by WEHCO Media, Inc. The company also owns 11 weekly newspapers, 14 daily newspapers and 13 cable television companies in six states.
Chattanooga Times Free Press also has a website that was launched in 2004. Initially, it was available only to paid subscribers. The portal was redesigned in 2008. It is even present on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
WATE-TV, virtual channel 6 is a television station owned by Nexstar Media Group. It is affiliated with ABC and is licensed to Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. While its transmitter is on Sharp’s Ridge in North Knoxville, studios are based in the Greystone mansion on North Broadway.
WATE 6 is the first television station in East Tennessee. It began to broadcast on October 1, 1953, as WROL-TV. Initially, it used to telecast local programs focussing on the community. The shows included Mary Starr’s Homemaker Show and TV Classroom Quiz. In 1955, the television station changed its name to WATE-TV.
Digital Media Presence
WATE-TV has a website with several sections such as news, weather, sports and community among others. It is also present on major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Knoxville News Sentinel
Knoxville News Sentinel is a daily newspaper published in the broadsheet format in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Owned by the Gannett Company, it was formed with the merger of two rival newspapers. In 1986, it started being published as a morning paper.
Origin And History
Knoxville News Sentinel traces its origin to two former newspapers- The Knoxville News, established by John Trevis Hearn in 1886 and The Knoxville Sentinel, founded in 1921 by Robert P. Scripps and Roy W. Howard. Both were merged to form Knoxville News-Sentinel on November 22, 1926. In 2002, the newspaper removed the hyphen from its name to become Knoxville News Sentinel. Knoxville News Sentinel also has a news website with multiple sections. It is even present on Facebook and Twitter.
The Commercial Appeal
Commercial Appeal is a daily newspaper published in Tennessee. Besides Greater Memphis, including Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton counties in Tennessee, it is also distributed in DeSoto, Tate, and Tunica counties in Mississippi and in Crittenden County in Arkansas.
The seven-day newspaper is published in the morning. Owned by Gannett, it traces its origin to 1839 as The Western World & Memphis Banner of the Constitution. Commercial Appeal has twice won Pulitzer Prize, first time in 1923 and again in 1994.
WJHL-TV, virtual channel 11, is a television station licensed to Johnson City in Tennessee. It caters to Tri-Cities area of northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. The dual CBS/ABC-affiliated television station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. WJHL-TV started broadcasting on October 26, 1953. WJHL 11 also has a news website with multiple sections such as weather, sports and jobs among others. It is available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as well.
News Channel 9
WTVC, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is a television station based in Tennessee. News Channel 9 first aired on February 11, 1958. While its studios are based in Benton Drive in Chattanooga, the transmitter of the TV channel is located on Signal Mountain in the town of Walden. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, News Channel 9 is a dual ABC/Fox-affiliated television station. It is licensed to Chattanooga in Tennessee. WTVC functions under the license from WROM-TV.
Nashville Scene, founded in 1989 is an alternative newsweekly. It is published in Nashville of Tennessee. In 1999, Nashville Scene became a part of Village Voice Media. Freeman Webb Company acquired it in May 2018. Earlier, it was owned by SouthComm Communications. Nashville Scene also has a news website with sections like music, arts & culture, food & drink, events and many others. It has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts as well.
The Chattanoogan is a news website launched on September 1, 1999. It is published by John Wilson, who had worked as a staff writer for Chattanooga News-Free Press for 28 years. It basically covers news from across Chattanooga in Tennessee. The Chattanoogan has several sections to cater to the interest of its readers such as sports, opinion, community, entertainment and travel among others.
The Eagle-Tribune is a daily newspaper published seven days in the morning. The daily covers Merrimack Valley and Essex County, Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire. It has the largest circulation in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The Eagle-Tribune traces its origin to April 13, 1867 when The Essex Eagle was launched. The newspaper has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. The Eagle-Tribune also has a website with several sections like news, sports, community, opinion, obituaries and many more. It is available on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Nashville Post is a news website launched in the year 2000. However, the idea was conceived in 1999 by Bill Carey and David A. Fox. Owned by Freeman Webb Publishing since 2018, it is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville Post shut down in 2005 only to resume operations with a brand new website in 2006. Nashville Post has multiple sections such as business, politics, sports, magazine and others. It is also available on Facebook and Twitter.
The Daily Times
The Daily Times is a privately-owned newspaper headquartered in Maryville in Tennessee. The first issue of the newspaper was launched in 1883. It is mainly circulated in Blount County. “The Daily Times is a family-owned newspaper,” the newspaper mentions. It also has a website with sections like business, sports, news, entertainment and several others. The Daily Times evn has accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Bristol Herald Courier
Bristol Herald Courier is a daily newspaper based in Bristol of Virginia. Owned by Lee Enterprises, its roots go back to 1865 when John Slack established Bristol News. Later in 1879, he founded Bristol Courier. In 1907, Bristol Herald, founded by George L. Carter was merged with Bristol Courier to form Bristol Herald Courier. It also has a news website.
The Lebanon Democrat
Lebanon Democrat is a daily newspaper headquartered in Lebanon, a town in Tennessee. Published by Lebanon Publishing Co., it mainly covers Wilson County. E. E. Adams purchased the stock of Lebanon Herald from Edgar Waters in 1888. Next year, in 1889, he launched Lebanon Democrat. In 2019, it got acquired by Paxton Media Group. Lebanon Democrat also has a news portal.
Williamson Source is a news portal with its focus on Williamson County. It is based in Franklin. The website has several sections such as sports, business, real estate and obituaries among others. Williamson Source also has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The Tennessee Star is a news website. Launched in February 2017, it is a member of the Star News Digital Media family. The Tennessee Star is a state-focused conservative portal. The Ohio Star, The Michigan Star, The Minnesota Sun and The Virginia Star among others are its sister publications. The portal has categories like national, politics, local, lifestyle, world and business. It is also available on Facebook and Twitter.
The Memphis Flyer
Memphis Flyer is a weekly alternative newspaper distributed free of cost. It covers the greater Memphis area of Tennessee. Established on February 16, 1989 by Kenneth Neill, it is owned by Contemporary Media, Inc. It appears every week on Wednesday morning. As per January 2018 figures, the weekly print circulation of Memphis Flyer was 44,000. Its website has categories like music, art & culture, food & drink, books, sports and many more.
Clarksville Now is a news portal launched in 2010. It serves Clarksville, Montgomery County and Fort Campbell. Clarksville Now is owned by Saga Communications, Inc. It is a part of Five-Star Media Group. Clarksville Now has categories like sports, events, lifestyle, news, crime, education and military among others. It is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Johnson City Press
Johnson City Press is a newspaper based in Johnson City in Tennessee. The first issue of the daily was launched in 1934. Johnson City Press also has a news website with sections such as sports, obituaries, opinion and news among others. Johnson City Press is even available on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Williamson Herald is a news website based in Franklin. It covers cities like Brentwood, Spring Hill, Nolensville, and Fairview of Williamson County. Established in 2005, it also has a print publication. Williamson Herald is owned by CMD Publishing. It is available on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Nashville Business Journal
Nashville Business Journal is a website and weekly publication available in the Middle Tennessee area. It is owned by American City Business Journals, which also publishes 43 other local business journals. Nashville Business Journal was launched in 1980. Its portal has sections like commercial real estate, education and energy among others.
Kingsport Times-News is a daily newspaper headquartered in Kingsport. Published in the broadsheet format, it has circulation in six counties in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The first issue of the newspaper was published on April 27, 1916, as Kingsport Times. It got its current name in 1944.
The Columbia Daily Herald
The Daily Herald is a Columbia-based daily newspaper. It was founded in 1848 as a weekly newspaper. The Daily Heraldis published six days a week except for Saturday. The newspaper is mainly circulated in Maury County.
Herald-Citizen is a newspaper published daily in Cookeville of Tennessee. It was established in 1903. Owned by Walls Newspaper, it is published in the broadsheet format. Herald-Citizen also has several categories such as videos, news, opinion, sports and obituaries.
The Daily News Journal
Daily News Journal is the only daily newspaper of Rutherford County. It also serves Murfreesboro and Tennessee. Daily News Journal is based in Murfreesboro. Currently, it is owned by Gannett. It acquired the newspaper from Morris Multimedia in 2004.
The Jackson Sun
Jackson Sun is a newspaper based in Jackson of Tennessee. It is one of the major newspapers in western Tennessee. The daily newspaper serves 13 counties. Owned by Gannett, it was founded in 1848. As per 2013 figures, Jackson Sun’s daily circulation was 15,763 and 24,287 for Sunday editions.
The Citizen Tribune
Citizen Tribune was established on September 6, 1966. The daily newspaper serves 7-county Lakeway Area of upper East Tennessee. It is headquartered in Morristown. R. Jack Fishman is the founding publisher of Citizen Tribune. Its website has sections such as sports, news, entertainment, features, classified and obituaries among others.
Nashville Ledger is a weekly newspaper published in Nashville of Tennessee. It was founded in 1978 by Doug Underwood as The Westview. After his death in 2010, the newspaper was purchased by Daily News Publishing Company, the owner of Memphis Daily News. The company changed the name of the newspaper to Nashville Ledger.
The Vanderbilt Hustler is the oldest newspaper in the US state of Tennessee. Established in 1888, it is a student newspaper at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Currently, it is available only as a website with sections such as life, news, sports and multimedia. The Vanderbilt Hustler even has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Cleveland Daily Banner
Cleveland Daily Banner is an English newspaper published in Cleveland of Tennessee. Its first issue was published on May 1, 1854. Founded by Robert McNelley, it was initially known as Cleveland Banner. Published three days a week, it is one of the oldest newspapers in Tennessee. Cleveland Daily Banner is the oldest newspaper in Bradley County that is still in print.
The Daily Beacon
The Daily Beacon is the student newspaper of The University of Tennessee, established in 1794. The first issue of Daily Beacon was published in 1906. The newspaper was initially known as The Orange & White. The Daily Beacon also has a website and it is present on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Upper Cumberland Reporter
The Upper Cumberland Reporter is a news website for the coverage of local sports, community news and events in Upper Cumberland, Tennessee. Cumberland, Jackson, Dekalb, Overton, White County and Putnam are other regions of Tennessee that is covered by The Upper Cumberland Reporter.
The Leaf-Chronicle is a daily newspaper, which was started under various titles as a weekly newspaper in 1808. Once known as Clarksville Chronicle, The Leaf-Chronicle got its current name after a merger in 1890.
The Daily News
The Daily News is a Memphis-based newspaper that claims to be the “source for daily news and information on business and commerce” in Tennessee. In 1886, the newspaper was started under the title of The Daily Abstract of Transfers.
The Tullahoma News
The Tullahoma News is a Tullahoma-based newspaper, e-edition of which is available on its website. News, Sports, Living, Arts & Entertainment, Special Sections, Classifieds, Obituaries and The Job Network are among he sections of the website.
Murfreesboro Post is a news website that promises to deliver all “local news and information about what’s happening in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County”. News, Sports, Opinion, Community and Obits are among its sections.
The Oak Ridger?
The Oak Ridger is a weekly newspaper published from Oak Ridge in Tennessee. Owned by Gannett, The Oak Ridger comes on every Monday under the editorship of Darrell Richardson (2021).
La Prensa Latina
La Prensa Latina is a Spanish language newspaper with an English language website to serve the readers of Tennessee. Arts & Entertainment, Business & Economy, Health, International, Politics and Sports are among the sections of news on the La Prensa Latina website.
The Greeneville Sun
The Greeneville Sun is a newspaper publishing daily since 1879 in Tennessee. In its media kit, The Greeneville Sun claims to have a weekday circulation of 14,390 copies and weekend circulation of 15,218 copies.
The Tennessee Tribune
The Tennessee Tribune is a Nashville-based newspaper that serves the African-American community of Tennessee. Besides Nashville, the newspaper is easily available in cities like Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis as well. Rosetta Irvin Miller-Perry had started the newspaper in 1991.
Southern Standard is a McMinnville-based newspaper, which comes on a semi-daily basis in Tennessee. The newspaper is known for its coverage of all news related to sports and business.
The Record Observer
The Record Observer is a Maryland-based newspaper but comes in top 10 circulated newspapers in Tennessee. On the web, The Record Observer is hosted by its parent company My Eastern Shore MD, which also owns Dorchester Star and Kent County News.
Tennessee has close to 90 daily and nondaily newspapers operating at the moment. The readership of the newspapers are currently on decline just like all other states of the US. Many of the newspapers have their presence on the website and official social media platforms.
However, some of the newspapers in Tennessee have ceased their publications amid the ongoing crisis. Brownlow’s Whig, Chattanooga Blade, Chattanooga Evening News, Knoxville Gazette, Knoxville Journal, Knoxville Negro World, Memphis Daily Scimitar, Memphis Free Speech, Memphis Post, Memphis Press-Scimitar, Memphis World, Nashville Banner, Nashville Globe, Nashville Union and American and Review Appeal are among the defunct newspapers of Tennessee.
According to Agility PR, Knoxville News Sentinel is the most circulated newspaper in Tennessee. Besides daily news, the Gannett-owned newspapers also provides news related to sports and business to its readers in Tennessee.
Chattanooga Times, The Eagle-Tribune, The Commercial Appeal, La Prensa Latina, Bristol Herald Courier, Kingsport Times News, The East Tennessee Catholic, Latino News and The Record Observer are among other widely read newspapers of Tennessee.
Geographically, the media in Tennessee is spread proportionally in cities like Chattanooga, Memphis, Knoxville, Murfreesboro and Nashville.
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