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The Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles County's Oldest and Highest Circulation Newspaper

The Los Angeles Times was first published in 1881 as the Los Angeles Daily Times. Not long afterwards, the newspaper’s printer, the Mirror Printing Office and Book Bindery, took over ownership after the original owners could no longer afford to stay in business. Harrison Gray Otis, a former military officer, soon thereafter joined the paper as a writer and later as editor. Otis was so successful at turning the paper around that he and a partner were able to buy out the newspaper (Times) and the printing company (Mirror). In 1884, the printer and paper were incorporated as the Times-Mirror Company. In 1886, Otis bought out his partner's half and assumed full control of the company.

Under Otis, the Los Angeles Times grew with the city and became a major promoter of business and development. The LA Times (and Otis) often clashed with anyone or anything perceived to be a hindrance to pro-growth and pro-business. This led to vehement conflict with organized labor. This dramatically resulted in the 1910 bombing of the newspaper’s printing plant (resulting in 21 deaths) and the subsequent conviction of two labor leaders in a highly publicized trial.

By the mid-1940s, the LA Times had become the leading daily newspaper in Los Angeles. The paper is now the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the United States. It circulates 1.1 million copies of the daily edition and 1.3 million copies of the Sunday edition. It boasts 22 foreign bureaus and 15 domestic U.S. bureaus. It has the largest editorial staff of any newspaper in the nation. It has received 23 Pulitzer Prizes.

The LA Times is published daily in four regional editions (Los Angeles Metro, San Fernando Valley, Orange County and Ventura County). A national edition is published on the East Coast and in Northern and Southern California. The paper is distributed daily in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Las Vegas, New York and Washington DC.

The LA Times maintains the website latimes.com. Each day the site features more than 50,000 content pages and more than 35,000 stories.

In March 2000, the parent company of the LA Times, the Times-Mirror Corporation, announced that it would be bought out by the Chicago-based Tribune Company (also owner of local television station KTLA and local classified shopper The Recycler). The completion of the sale came the following summer. Los Angeles thereafter became the largest city in the nation with no locally-owned, wide-circulation, general interest daily newspaper.

 

For more information about the history of the Los Angeles Times, see "Letters from the People: The Los Angeles Times Letters Column, 1881-1889."

 

 

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