Our History


The history of our newspapers can be traced back to 1916. Since then our publication has reflected Kingsport and its growth.

The Kingsport Times was the first newspaper to serve Kingsport. Like many Kingsporters, it had its early beginning elsewhere. Print weekly as the "Progress," at first in Johnson City and delivered here, the Kingsport Times was read in 1916 by the residents of an area incorporated the following year as the City of Kingsport. It later started semi-weekly editions and thrived with the prospering city. Daily publication began in 1924.

By 1919, T.H. Pratt and Ike Shuman purchased the publishing firm. Shuman, after serving a year or so as editor, returned to New York and was succeeded by Harold Long, who remained as editor until 1935. W.J. McAuliffe, who had joined the newspaper in 1926, succeeded Long.

In 1938, a group of stockholders headed by C.P. Edwards, Jr., bought the firm. Edwards became president, with McAuliffe continuing as editor. J. W. West came in 1940 as general manager. In 1942, publication of the morning Kingsport News was started.

In it's earlier days, the publishing firm, located on Market Street, employed a staff of 14 and operated a commercial printing plant as a sideline. But just as Kingsport was growing beyond its corporate limits, the newspaper had outgrown its earlier quarters and expanded to three downtown buildings. Kingsport's population increased, and so did the circulation of the companion papers. From 1,450 in 1924, it had climbed to 21,200 in 1954; since then it has grown to over 48,000.

Sandusky Newspapers, Inc. purchased the Times-News from Edwards in 1962.

Since 1970, the newspapers have been produced at the Kingsport Publishing Corporation's modern plant and offices at 701 Lynn Garden Drive. With 155 full-time employees, 50 part-time employees, and more than 275 carriers and dealers involved in circulation and distribution, the Kingsport Times-News has continued to record the Kingsport region's progress.

David A. Rau is president of the corporation and Keith Wilson is vice president and publisher of the Times-News.