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|Founder(s)||Clarence Christian (C .C.) Givens|
8, 612 Daily|
|Sister newspapers||Evansville Courier & Press|
The Henderson Gleaner (or, simply, The Gleaner) is the daily newspaper in Henderson, Kentucky.
The Gleaner publishes Tuesday through Sunday mornings. It hasn't published on Mondays since its founding in the 1880s.
The Gleaner was locally owned for more than a century, but was purchased by A.H. Belo in March 1997 before being acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company on October 31, 2000, when it became part of the Evansville Courier & Press. Scripps later divested their newspaper holdings, and on April 1, 2015 the Journal Media Group became the owners.
Clarence Christian (C .C.) Givens founded The Gleaner in 1883 in Providence, Kentucky, located approximately 35 miles south of Henderson. Givens remained there for six months, then moved his newspaper farther south to Madisonville, Kentucky. In July 1885, Givens relocated the Gleaner to Henderson. It became a daily publication in 1888 with the exception that it produced no Monday edition, and was published as the Henderson Morning Gleaner.
The Gleaner wasn't the city's first or only newspaper. The Columbian first published in 1823, and the Henderson Reporter was in production from 1853 through 1885. At least a dozen other newspapers also operated in Henderson for various lengths of times, but few if any copies of those papers have survived.
The Gleaner was also a peer of the Henderson Journal, founded in 1883 as a weekly afternoon paper. One of its founders was Edmund L. Starling, a colonel with the Union Army during the Civil War, a former mayor of Henderson and a former editor of the Reporter. Starling in 1887 produced the History of Henderson County, a thick volume that has served as a foundation for subsequent Henderson history books.
The Henderson Morning Gleaner and Henderson Evening Journal competed for several years. By 1909, the Evening Journal was losing $500 a week and had been taken over by its bank. A young Illinois native, Leigh Harris, bought the Journal. Harris' first editorial consisted of a single sentence: "I have come to Henderson to run a newspaper."
In about 1920, Harris negotiated a merger of the Gleaner and Journal with the Givens family, creating the Henderson Gleaner and Journal. (The word "Journal" was dropped from the masthead in 1973.) Harris later bought out C. C. Givens altogether, becoming the city's sole newspaper publisher. Harris chaired numerous Henderson causes and committees, including serving as chairman of the local American Red Cross chapter during the Ohio River flood of 1937. Henderson was one of the few cities along the Ohio River that escaped the floodwaters of 1937, owing to its position on a bluff well above the river. Harris soon noted in his newspaper that Henderson is "on the Ohio but never in it." He used that as a marketing tool as he and other prominent citizens worked to attract new industries to Henderson.
After Harris' death in 1955, the family leased the newspaper to J. Albert Dear of Jersey City, New Jersey. His company, Dear Publication and Radio Inc., bought the newspaper outright two years later.
In 1960, the Dear family sent a son, Walter Dear II, to Henderson to serve as promotions manager, beginning a new era for the Gleanere He became editor in 1963 and later served as publisher. Dear promoted the community, much as Leigh Harris had a generation earlier. Dear was among a handful of Hendersonians who served as primary fundraisers for community improvements such as a new YMCA building, a Fine Arts Center on the Henderson Community College campus, a new Salvation Army center and other projects.
The newspaper constructed a new office and printing plant at 455 Klutey Park Plaza in suburban Henderson, relocating there in 1976.
In 1986, Walt and Martha Dear and their children bought The Gleaner, several western Kentucky weekly newspapers (the Benton Tribune-Courier, McLean County News, Ohio County News and Franklin Favorite, plus the Portland, Tennessee Leader). and a small radio station in Franklin, Kentucky, from the rest of their family. They later acquired the Union County Advocate in Morganfield, Kentucky, as well.
In 1997, the Dear family sold The Gleaner and other media holdings to the A. H. Belo Corp., a Texas media company that owns The Dallas Morning News. Belo had purchased The Messenger-Inquirer in nearby Owensboro, a year earlier. Belo subsequently decided that the two Kentucky newspapers weren't core to Belo's business of operating newspapers and television stations in larger high-growth markets, particularly in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.
Belo sold The Gleaner to Scripps in 2000, making it a sister paper to the Evansville Courier & Press. As had been the case with Belo, the Courier and E. W. Scripps left The Gleaner editorially independent, although Henderson readers later criticized the decision to merge The Gleaner and Courier & Press classified advertising. The Gleaner's Website is merged into a separate section on the Courier & Press Website.
In 2015, Scripps decided to leave the newspaper business and focus instead on broadcasting. It sold its newspapers, including The Gleaner, to the newly formed Journal Media Group on April 1, 2015.
Gannett acquired Journal Media Group effective April 8, 2016. Gleaner staff-written stories are now labeled as being associated with the USA TODAY Network, which references Gannett's flagship newspaper, USA Today.