The press has pushed Longview for progress since its first newspaper, the Longview News, a thrice-weekly with type that was handset by future Gov. James Stephen Hogg began circulating in 1871.
Prior to the establishment of the city’s own paper, residents relied upon publications from the county seat of Gilmer.
A year after Hogg established his little paper, a second came into existence in the young city. It was the Longview New Era, published by E.S. and J.S. Terry. Because Gregg County didn’t become a reality until 1873, the New Era also was listed as a publication of Upshur County.
The first newspaper established after the new county of Gregg was approved was the News Item, in 1873.
The Longview Daily News and the Gregg County News were owned from 1905 to 1909 by Walter C. Holloway, a native of Gregg County.
The Longview Clarion was established in 1885 by F.M. Marschalk, a veteran newspaperman who was recruited by Longview businessmen to move from Mississippi.
He operated it until his death in 1888, when J.W. Johnson took over the publication.
Johnson renamed the paper the Times-Clarion and published under that banner from 1893 until 1916. Mrs. Johnson was also involved in operation of the firm.
At his death in 1916, she assumed full responsibility and ran the paper until 1918. She sold it then to G.B. Whitley.
In 1925, the Times-Clarion and the Longview Leader, established two years previously, were consolidated under the name of the Longview Daily News with William J. Tucker as managing editor.
The paper was owned by a corporation that included Tucker and various other Longview businessmen.
The Longview Daily News changed ownership four times from 1929 through 1934.
It was sold in late 1929 by Hall Winnsborough and Joe Herrin of Marshall to W.K. Leatherrock of Sayre, Oklahoma. W.J. Bacon, also of Sayre, was named vice president and S.A. Parker, secretary. The Longview Morning Journal was started by this group in February 1931.
Clarence E. Faulk of Monroe, Louisiana, who was then president of Delta Airlines, bought the News and Journal in March 1931.
Carl L. Estes became owner-publisher in 1934 and the name of the firm was changed to The Longview News Co.
Carl Estes was an untiring advocate of industrial development of Longview and worked with other civic leaders to bring several large companies to the Longview area.
Until his death, Estes worked tirelessly on behalf of East Texas. So effective were his campaigns that he was known across the state as “Mr. East Texas.”
After the death of her husband in May 1967, Margaret Estes became publisher of the Daily News and Morning Journal.
In the summer of 1978, Cox Enterprises Inc. bought the Longview newspapers from Mrs. Estes.
In 1986, a modern building was completed to house the news, production and advertising staffs of the two publications.
On Oct. 1, 1988, the Morning Journal and the Daily News were merged to create the Longview News-Journal.
The original newspaper names, incidentally, can still be seen from Tyler Street on the outside wall of the old building, which today houses printing and other manufacturing and distribution operations.
In 2009, Cox Enterprises sold the News-Journal and its sister Marshall News Messenger to ASP Westward of Houston. Both became part of East Texas Community Newspapers.
In 2012, the News-Journal, News Messenger, and a dozen area weekly newspapers that comprised ETCN were sold to Texas Community Media LLC of Longview.
Stephen N. McHaney, president of Texas Community Media, was named publisher of the News-Journal.
In September 2015, Texas Community Media combined with Victoria Advocate Publishing Co. to create M. Roberts Media, which brought the family owned operations in South and East Texas under a single umbrella based in Longview.