Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



Despite the fact that the Times was an afternoon paper and the Courant a morning paper, the two were more alike than they were different throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Each newspaper was increasingly influenced by persons not native to New England, but both retained executives with New England roots. They were closely balanced in manpower, they competed vigorously for the same kinds of news, and (after September, 1968) they presented similar Sunday packages. Carl Lindstrom's charge that newspapers were increasingly dominated by the business offices could hardly be applied fairly to either newspaper in Hartford by 1970. The publishers of both newspapers--and the top two executives of Gannett--were news oriented; that is, they had been newsmen before they became managers. Both newspapers had the benefit of some of the nation's leading editorial thinkers. With so many similarities, it becomes relatively easy to isolate the major ways in which the Courant and the Times differed: (1) The morning Courant had only one direct competitor in its prime circulation territory, whereas the evening Times had nine; (2) the Courant was first and most aggressive -in its drive for circulation in the suburbs and beyond; (3) the Sunday Courant already had become a habit with many readers long before the Times had a Sunday paper, and (4) top-level operations at the Courant followed a consistent pattern through orderly executive succession during a period when the Times was frustrated by internal conflict. (From 1948 to 1970, the Courant had one new publisher, the Times three.) The failure to start a Sunday newspaper in the 1950s, when 52 the Times was still far ahead in daily circulation, may have severely handicapped the Sunday paper that was begun in 1968. It would be rash, however, to write off the 1968 venture as a failure after only one year's performance. Any assessment of the situation must take into account Gannett's ample resources in both money and talent, which still might be sufficient to overcome the effects of the questionable strategy of the 1950s. No prognosis should be attempted on the basis of only one year's circulation and advertising.

Library of Congress Subject Headings


Harford times

Hartford courant

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University