The Houston Post was a daily newspaper that served the Houston, Texas area from 1880 to 1995. The paper was founded by Gail Borden Jr., who also founded the Borden Milk Company. The first issue of the Houston Post was published on February 19, 1880. Initial growth included the purchase of The Houston telegraph.
Difficulties and a String of Owners
The early years of the Houston Post were marked by financial difficulties and a series of ownership changes. The paper was sold several times in its first two decades, but it eventually stabilized under the ownership of William P. Hobby, who purchased the paper in 1918.
Under Hobby’s leadership, the Houston Post became one of the most respected newspapers in Texas. The paper was known for its strong reporting on local news, politics, and sports, and it won numerous awards for its journalism.
In 1964, the Houston Post was sold to the Toronto-based newspaper chain, Southam Inc. The new ownership brought about significant changes at the paper, including a new focus on investigative reporting and an increased emphasis on national and international news.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Houston Post faced stiff competition from the Houston Chronicle, which had become the dominant newspaper in the city. The Post responded by modernizing its operations and launching a number of new initiatives, including a Sunday magazine and a popular sports section.
Despite these efforts, the Houston Post continued to struggle financially, and in 1995, the paper was sold to the Hearst Corporation, which also owned the Houston Chronicle. Hearst announced that it would cease publication of the Houston Post and merge it with the Chronicle, effectively ending the paper’s 115-year run.
The final edition of the Houston Post was published on April 18, 1995. The paper’s closure was met with sadness and disappointment from many readers and journalists in the Houston area, who mourned the loss of a newspaper that had been a part of the community for more than a century.
Circulation numbers for The Houston Post varied over the years, depending on factors such as competition from other newspapers and changes in readership habits.
In the early part of the 20th century, the Houston Post was one of the dominant newspapers in the city, with a circulation that rivaled that of the Houston Chronicle, which was its main rival. According to the Editor & Publisher Yearbook, the Houston Post had a daily circulation of 79,042 in 1920, compared to the Houston Chronicle’s circulation of 81,066.
However, the Houston Post’s circulation declined in the following years, as the city’s population grew and new newspapers entered the market. By the 1960s, the Houston Chronicle had become the dominant newspaper in Houston, and the Houston Post struggled to compete. In 1983, the Houston Post’s daily circulation was 216,650, compared to the Houston Chronicle’s circulation of 436,896.
The Houston Post ceased publication in 1995, after 115 years of operation. At the time of its closure, its daily circulation was approximately 75,000, compared to the Houston Chronicle’s circulation of over 500,000.
The Houston Post employed a number of well-known and respected columnists over the course of its history. Some of the most notable include:
O. Henry: The famed short story writer had a brief turn at the Houston Post.
Leon Hale: A beloved Texas writer who penned a regular column for the Houston Post for more than 30 years. Hale’s columns often focused on small-town life and the people and places of rural Texas.
John O’Quinn: A prominent Houston attorney and philanthropist who wrote a weekly legal advice column for the Houston Post. O’Quinn was known for his sharp wit and his willingness to take on powerful interests in his legal practice.
Bill Porterfield: A sports columnist who covered the Houston Astros and other local teams for the Houston Post for more than two decades. Porterfield was known for his insightful analysis and his colorful writing style.
Molly Ivins: A political commentator and humorist who wrote for the Houston Post in the 1970s and 1980s. Ivins was known for her witty and irreverent take on Texas politics and culture, and she went on to achieve national fame as a columnist and author.
Carl Cunningham was a well-known columnist for the Houston Post who wrote a daily column called “Postscripts” from 1963 until the paper’s closure in 1995. Cunningham was known for his sharp wit and his ability to capture the flavor of Houston and Texas in his writing. Cunningham’s columns covered a wide range of topics, from local politics and culture to national and international news. He was particularly known for his coverage of the Houston rodeo and his affectionate portraits of Texas cowboys and ranchers. His columns were often accompanied by his own illustrations, which added to their charm and humor.
- Year Started: 1880
- Year Ended: 1995
- Origin Of Name: Descriptive
- Location Sales: Texas
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: Houston Chronical
- Owner Original: Gail Borden
- Owner While In Use: Many
- Owner Successor: Hearst Corporation
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Houston Chronicle
- Naics Code: 513110
- Location Headquarters: Houston, Texas, USA