Copley Press

Copley Press was a privately held newspaper business, founded in Illinois, but later based in La Jolla, California.[1] Its flagship paper was The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Copley Press
Foundedc. 1905
FounderIra Clifton Copley
OwnerCopley family
SubsidiariesThe San Diego Union-Tribune
Copley News Service


Founder Ira Clifton Copley launched Copley Press c. 1905, eventually amassing over two dozen papers. After selling the Western Utility Corporation, Copley purchased twenty-four newspapers in Southern California for $7.5 million. He managed these publishing holdings as Copley Press, Inc. and was its first president, serving until 1942.

Copley Press purchased Springfield's Illinois State Journal in 1927. In 1942, Copley bought the Journal's Democratic-oriented competitor, the Illinois State Register, promising that the Register could keep its independent editorial voice.[2] The two papers were merged in 1974 into The State Journal-Register.

In 1928, Copley bought the San Diego Union and San Diego Tribune, which eventually became the company's flagship publications. Later that year, Senator George W. Norris accused Copley Press of receiving money from public utility companies, but Copley successfully defended his position before the Federal Trade Commission in 1929. The two papers operated separate editions until 1992, when they were merged as The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Copley News Service — a wire service that distributed news, political cartoons, and opinion columns — was founded in 1955.[3]


Copley Press began selling off properties in the 2000s. Hollinger International bought the Company's Chicago-area publications (The Herald News, The Beacon News, The Courier News, and The News Sun, along with several smaller papers) in 2000. The remaining Illinois papers (The State Journal-Register, the Peoria Journal Star, The Repository, and some smaller papers) were sold to GateHouse Media in 2007.

In 2006, the Daily Breeze was sold to Hearst. In December 2007, the Union-Tribune reported that Copley Press was selling La Casa del Zorro, a resort it owned in Borrego Springs. Copley News Service itself was sold to Creators Syndicate for an undisclosed price and renamed Creators News Service, on 1 July 2008.

In late July 2008, the company began seeking buyers for the Union-Tribune, as well as several other businesses like Enlace, a free Spanish-language tabloid, and, the online arm of the U-T.[4] The announcement did not make clear what, if anything, would be left with the Copley Press name. Platinum Equity agreed in March 2009 to purchase the Union-Tribune for an unspecified sum.[5] Copley Press currently is working with Evercore Partners, the same company that helped sell off other business units, to determine a price for the remaining assets.

Declining advertising revenue was cited as the reason for the company's dissolution.[4]

Pulitzer Prizes

Copley News Service and The San Diego Union-Tribune, with notable work by Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer, won the 2006 National Reporting prize for their disclosure that former Congressman Randy Cunningham received bribes, which ultimately led to his criminal conviction and imprisonment.[6][7]

Additionally, the San Diego Evening Tribune, predecessor of the Union-Tribune, won Pulitzer Prizes in 1987 and 1979.

Allegations of collaboration with CIA and FBI

In the late 1970s, the American media reported that the Copley Press was used as a front by the Central Intelligence Agency. Reporters Joe Trento and Dave Roman claimed that James S. Copley, who served as publisher until 1973, had cooperated with the CIA since its founding in 1947. They also reported that a subsidiary division, Copley News Service, was used in Latin America by the CIA as a front.

Trento and Roman also said that reporters at the Copley-owned San Diego Union and Evening News spied on antiwar protesters for the FBI. They alleged that, at the height of these operations, at least two dozen Copley employees were simultaneously working for the CIA. James S. Copley was also accused of involvement in the CIA-funded Inter-American Press Association.[8][9][10]


Former Properties


  1. ^ "The Copley Press, Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  2. ^ Swanson, Walter S.J. The Thin Gold Watch (2nd ed.) (Copley Press, 1970).
  3. ^ Jim Hays (May 29, 2008). "Creators Syndicate buys Copley News Service". The Oregonian. Business News. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Sale of U-T explored by Copley Press," San Diego Union-Tribune, July 25, 2008; by David Hasemyer.
  5. ^ Hsu, Tiffany and Tony Perry. "Platinum Equity to Acquire San Diego Union-Tribune." Los Angeles Times, 19 March 2009.
  6. ^ "U-T, Copley News win Pulitzer Prize", The San Diego Union-Tribune, 2006-04-18 by Jeff McDonald
  7. ^ 2006 Pulitzer Prize National Reporting
  8. ^ Trento, Joseph, The Secret History of the CIA, Forum Press, 2001
  9. ^ Trento, Joseph, Prelude to Terror—The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network, Carroll & Graf, 2005
  10. ^ Neoconservatism: a CIA Front?, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, 1997
1931 San Diego mayoral election

The 1931 San Diego mayoral election was held on April 7, 1931 to elect the mayor for San Diego. Incumbent mayor Harry C. Clark stood for reelection to a third term. In the primary election, Clark and Walter W. Austin received the most votes and advanced to a runoff election. Austin was then elected mayor with a majority of the votes in the runoff.

1955 San Diego mayoral election

The 1955 San Diego mayoral election was held on April 19, 1955 to elect the mayor for San Diego. Incumbent mayor John D. Butler did not stand for reelection. In the primary election, Charles Dail and Harry L. Foster received the most votes and advanced to a runoff election. Dail was then elected mayor with a majority of the votes in the runoff.

2007 Holiday Bowl

The 2007 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl was a college football bowl game played December 27, 2007 in San Diego. It was part of the 2007 NCAA Division I FBS football season and one of 32 games in the 2007–2008 bowl season. It featured the Texas Longhorns against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Texas won 52–34 and set Holiday Bowl records for the earliest score and for most points scored in the first quarter. Texas also set a school record for most points scored in a bowl game. A bizarre play involving Chris Jessee, a member of the Longhorn football operations staff and the stepson of the Texas head coach, has been cited as one of the strangest plays of the season.

Burbank Leader

The Burbank Leader is a twice-weekly newspaper published by the Los Angeles Times in Burbank, California.

The Burbank Daily Review was founded in 1905, and later acquired by the Copley Press. Copley sold the Daily Review and the Glendale News Press to Morris Newspapers in 1974; however Morris sold off the papers two years later. Ingersoll Publications bought the papers in 1980. The Daily Review was replaced by the biweekly Burbank Leader in 1985.

Page Group Publishing, who had just bought the Orange Coast Daily Pilot and the Huntington Beach Independent, acquired the papers from Ingersoll in 1989. Times Mirror bought the newspaper group in 1993.

Daily Breeze

The Daily Breeze is a print and digital news media company based in Torrance, California. Its coverage area includes the South Bay and Harbor Area cities of Los Angeles County “from LAX to LA Harbor,” including the communities of Carson, El Segundo, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Torrance, and Wilmington. The Daily Breeze is a member of the Southern California News Group, a division of Digital First Media.

Established in 1894, the Daily Breeze is best known for its coverage of local news. In 2015 the Daily Breeze won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for its coverage of a financial scandal in the Centinela Valley Union High School District. The paper had earlier won a Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for the same investigation and also won the National Headliner Award. Another investigative series, Getting Away with Murder, examines the scope of unsolved homicides in Los Angeles County.

David C. Copley

David C. Copley (January 31, 1952 – November 20, 2012) was an American publishing heir, on the board of the Copley Press for over thirty years, becoming president and owner, as well as publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was a noted philanthropist.

Glendale News-Press

The Glendale News Press is a twice-weekly newspaper published by the Los Angeles Times in Glendale, California effective August 31, 2016. The paper was formed when Ira Clifton Copley's Copley Press bought and combined the Glendale Daily Press and the Glendale Evening News in 1905.Copley sold the News Press and the Burbank Daily Review to Morris Newspapers in 1974; however Morris sold off the papers two years later. Ingersoll Publications bought the papers in 1980.

Page Group Publishing, who had just bought the Orange Coast Daily Pilot and the Huntington Beach Independent, acquired the paper from Ingersoll in 1989. Times Mirror bought the newspaper group in 1993.

The Glendale News-Press covers local news, entertainment and sports in Glendale and La Crescenta-Montrose. With a readership of more than 10,000, it is now published twice-weekly, instead of daily..

Ira Clifton Copley

Ira Clifton Copley (October 25, 1864 – November 1, 1947) was an American publisher, politician, and utility tycoon. Born in rural Knox County, Illinois, Copley's family moved to Aurora when Copley was two so that he could be treated for scarlet fever. After graduating from Yale College and the Union College of Law, Copley assumed management of the Aurora Gas Light Company. He successfully guided the company into a regional utilities giant, eventually merging his assets into the Western Utility Corporation, which he sold in 1926.

Copley purchased his first newspaper in 1905, eventually amassing over two dozen papers as Copley Press. He was a Republican and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1911, where he served until 1923. From 1915 to 1917, he represented his district as a Progressive. Copley was defeated in a primary in 1922. He is the namesake of Rush–Copley Medical Center. His adopted sons James S. and William went on to notable careers in business and art, respectively.

James S. Copley

James Strohn Copley (August 12, 1916 – October 6, 1973) was a journalist and newspaper publisher. He published the San Diego Union and the San Diego Evening Tribune, both later merged into The San Diego Union-Tribune in 1992, from 1947 until his death in 1973, and was President of the Inter American Press Association (1969 - 1970). His politics was "unabashedly conservative, Republican and pro-American". He had close associations with leading Republican of the era, including Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. Copley's presence was a chief reason that the Republican National Convention of 1972 was originally planned to be in San Diego.

Copley was born in St. Johnsville, New York, the son of Flora and John Lodwell. His parents died in the Influenza epidemic of 1917-1918. Copley was adopted at age four by Col. Ira Clifton Copley, who later (in 1928) bought The San Diego Union and the San Diego Evening Tribune. Copley graduated from Yale University in 1939. At Yale, he served on the business staff of campus humor magazine The Yale Record with Roy D. Chapin, Jr. and Walter J. Cummings, Jr. After college, he went into journalism, becoming the CEO of the Union-Tribune group on Ira Copley's death in 1947. He remained CEO until his death in 1973, when his wife, Helen K. Copley, took over. The Union and the Tribune merged in 1992 to become The San Diego Union-Tribune. The Copley Press also published smaller papers in California and the Midwest, including the Torrance, California Daily Breeze, San Pedro, California News-Pilot, Aurora, Illinois Beacon-News, and the Burbank, California Daily Review.

According to Carl Bernstein, Copley, as CEO of Copley Press, cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency, which had widespread contacts in the United States media.The University of San Diego has a library named in honor of Copley and his wife (the Helen K. and James S. Copley Library). Copley resided in La Jolla, California, and often stayed at a second home in Borrego Springs, California.

Journal Star (Peoria)

The Journal Star is the major daily newspaper for Peoria, Illinois, and surrounding area. First owned locally, then employee-owned, it became a Copley Press entity in 1996. In 2007, the paper was sold to Fairport, New York-based GateHouse Media.


KSWB-TV, virtual channel 69 (UHF digital channel 19), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to San Diego, California, United States. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of the Tribune Media Company. KSWB's studios are located on Engineer Road in the city's Kearny Mesa section (within a quarter-mile to the west of the studios of CBS affiliate KFMB-TV, channel 8), and its transmitter is located southeast of Spring Valley.

KSWB-TV is branded as Fox 5 San Diego, in reference to its primary cable channel position in the market on most local cable providers (it is also carried in Baja California, Mexico on Izzi channel 92). Until 2011, the logo bug shown during the station's newscasts rotated between its common cable channel position and its over-the-air virtual channel number, 69.

Lake County News-Sun

The Lake County News-Sun is a regional newspaper based in Gurnee, Illinois, that predominantly covers news for Lake County, Illinois, a part of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is currently owned by the Chicago Tribune Media Group, which publishes several other Chicago regional newspapers, including the Pioneer Press. While it once covered news in the region almost exclusively (it staved off a challenge from the Tribune when it opened a Lake County bureau). it has encountered a significant challenge from the Daily Herald since 2000 when that paper opened its Lake County bureau.

The paper started out life as the Independent and later the Lake County Independent based in Libertyville in 1892. By 1921 the paper was known as the Waukegan Daily News and in 1930 it purchased the Waukegan Daily Sun (founded 1897) and merged the two papers to become the Waukegan News-Sun, a name it would operate under until 1971. In 1971 "Waukegan" was dropped from the masthead and the hyphen was removed in 1997 to bring the name to its current iteration of News Sun. However, many readers and residents still refer to it as the Waukegan News-Sun to this day.

Founded by Frank H. Just in 1892 it stayed independent and owned by the Just family until sold to Copley Press in 1983, a ninety-one year run as an independent newspaper. Copley in turn sold the paper to Hollinger International in December 2000.

On July 24, 2006, the paper once again reinvented itself as the Lake County News-Sun, a compact-sized, morning-delivery paper. The paper is now available to morning commuters and delivered to subscribers by 6:30 a.m. The size and image change is the biggest transformation the paper has encountered in its long community history.

On September 3, 2007 the Chicago Tribune took over all home delivery and single copy of the News-Sun. In 2014, the Tribune purchased the paper from Wrapports.

Southern California News Group

The Southern California News Group (SCNG), formerly the San Gabriel Valley News Group and the Los Angeles News Group, is an umbrella group of local daily newspapers published in the greater Los Angeles area by Digital First Media.

The Register-Mail

The Register-Mail is an American daily newspaper published in Galesburg, Illinois. The paper was owned by the Pritchard family from 1896 to 1989, when it was sold to the Journal Star. In 1996, Copley Press bought both papers for $174.5 million. In 2007, GateHouse Media bought Copley's Illinois and Ohio papers.In addition to the daily newspaper, GateHouse also publishes Knox County Neighbors, a weekly newspaper serving Knox County and the Galesburg area, and the Daily Review Atlas in neighboring Warren County.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Union-Tribune is an American metropolitan daily newspaper, published in San Diego, California.

Its name derives from a 1992 merger between the two major daily newspapers at the time, The San Diego Union and the San Diego Evening Tribune. The name changed to U-T San Diego in 2012 but was changed again to The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015. In 2015, it was acquired by Tribune Publishing, later renamed tronc. In February 2018 it was announced to be sold, along with the Los Angeles Times, to Patrick Soon-Shiong's investment firm Nant Capital LLC for $500 million plus $90m in pension liabilities. The sale closed on June 18, 2018.

The State Journal-Register

The State Journal-Register is the only local daily newspaper for Springfield, Illinois, and its surrounding area. It was founded in 1831 as the Sangamo Journal by William Bailhache and Edward Baker, and claims to be "the oldest newspaper in Illinois." As such, it and its editor, Edward L. Baker, supported the political career of the Springfield-based Abraham Lincoln in the years before the American Civil War; in fact, it was in the Journal's office that Lincoln and his friends waited for the telegraphic news from Chicago to find out who would be the Republican presidential nominee in 1860. Later in publication, the name was changed to Illinois State Journal. $2 daily. $4.50 on Sunday

Copley Press bought the State Journal in 1927. In 1942, it bought Springfield's afternoon paper, the Illinois State Register. For years, the two papers maintained separate editorial stances, with the State Journal tilting Republican and the State Register tilting Democratic. The two papers merged in 1974 as The State Journal-Register.Fairport, New York-based GateHouse Media bought The State Journal-Register, along with most of Copley's other Midwestern titles, in 2007.

The Times-Reporter

The Times-Reporter is an American daily newspaper published seven mornings a week in New Philadelphia, Ohio. It is owned by GateHouse Media.

The newspaper was created in 1968 through the merger of The Daily Times of New Philadelphia and The Daily Reporter of Dover, Ohio. They remain the principal cities of its coverage area, which also includes the Tuscarawas County communities of Baltic, Bolivar, Dennison, Gnadenhutten, Newcomerstown, Strasburg, Sugarcreek, Tuscarawas and Uhrichsville; and some coverage of Carroll, Coshocton, Harrison, Holmes and Stark counties.

GateHouse acquired The Times-Reporter in April 2007 from Copley Press.The Times-Reporter is related to three other GateHouse newspapers in Northeast Ohio, the dailies The Independent of Massillon and The Repository of Canton, and the weekly The Suburbanite in southern Summit County.

Today's Local News

Today's Local News was a free, five-day-a-week broadsheet newspaper that covered northern San Diego County in California.

A rare modern-day start-up of a metropolitan broadsheet newspaper, Today's Local News was the attempt by Copley Press, owner of The San Diego Union-Tribune, to get full-market coverage in the prosperous North County region also covered by the Lee Enterprises-owned North County Times and The Coast News. Copley began printing the new suburban paper November 4, 2004, delivering more than 75,000 copies free to homes from Tuesday to Sunday.

Editorially, the paper appeared to be a complement to the Union-Tribune and not a replacement. Its content is almost entirely local, with a concentration on community news and features rather than state and national affairs. One recent profile highlighted an Oceanside resident who works as a veterinary technician.

Since its launch, Today's Local News dropped Tuesday publication (going from six to five days a week) and, in October 2006, eliminated 26 positions. The staff write stories for the new paper that sometimes also appear in the North sections of the Union-Tribune.

Today's Local News has been a source of much controversy in the community, due to its practice of delivering its newspapers curbside, even when the previous day's paper has not been taken in. Residents are unable to stop the delivery. This has caused excessive littering throughout the service area, and has been a source of ill-will with residents.

The publication ceased distribution and closed on May 7, 2009 when it laid off its entire staff.

University City, San Diego

University City (UC) is a community in San Diego, California, located in the northwestern portion of the city next to the University of California, San Diego. University City is bordered by La Jolla and interstate 5 to the west, Miramar and interstate 805 to the east, and North Clairemont and highway 52 to the south, giving the community a triangular shaped boundary. University City is a part of District 1 which is represented by Councilmember Barbara Bry on the San Diego City Council.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.