The Austin American-Statesman is Austin, Texas’ major daily newspaper. It is owned by Gannett Co., Inc., a mass media holding company. The Austin American-Statesman has robust Central Texas coverage, more specifically in political reporting. Aside from that, the Austin American-Statesman benefits from writing the culture and heritage of Austin. They extensively cover the music scene in Austin, more specifically the yearly South by Southwest Music Festival.
Aside from the big-time newspapers, the Austin American-Statesman also publishes a Spanish-language newspaper weekly named ¡ahorasí!. They are also merged with the St. Petersburg Times for the non-profit project called Politifact Texas, where they cover issues that are important to the Austin area and Texas. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of Austin American-Statesman and how it became Austin’s daily newspaper.
History of the Austin American-Statesman
In 1871, the tri-weekly newspaper the Democratic Statesman was founded, and it was initially associated with the state Democratic party during the Reconstruction era. The Democratic Statesman began as a morning paper in 1873, and after a year, it absorbed the Austin Tribune, and then they also became an evening paper. That is why they decided to change their name to the Austin Evening Statesman n 1916.
In 1914, a rival morning paper in the name of Austin American was established. However, five years after it was established, Waco-based newspapermen named Charles E. Marsh, along with E.S Fentress, bought the publication. And in 1924, they also decided to purchase the Evening Statesman. Because the two publication was merged under one company, the morning and evening papers were published separately in the weekdays, and they are combined every Sunday where it was called as the Austin American Statesman edition. It was until 1973 when all of the products were named as the American-Statesman, and they were all published with four editions daily.
In 1976, a privately held conglomerate named Cox Enterprises managed to acquire the Statesman when they purchased the Waco newspaper company. In 1987, the Statesman became a morning-only publication. 21 years later, Cox Enterprises decided to put the Statesman up for sale along with most of its other newspaper holdings to pay down debt. However, after a year, Cox Enterprises pulled the paper off the market because of the lack of suitable offers.
That is why the Statesman became a part of the subsidiary Cox Media Group and joined the company’s radio, television, as well as newspaper assets in 2008.
In 2018, the Cox Media Group announced the sale of the Statesman to GateHouse Media. In April that same year, GateHouse Media said that they would make the Statesman the flagship of their expanding chain. In 2019, GateHouse Media Inc. merged with Gannett Company, and they decided to keep the Gannet name.
The Austin American-Statesman was named as the Newspaper of the Year in 2013, 2014, and 2016 by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. They beat San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. In 2015, the Statesman’s Spanish language weekly newspaper, ¡ahorasí!, was hailed as the country’s best Spanish language in the country by the National Association of Hispanic Publishers.