Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Twentieth-Century Business Archives

The Times Mirror Company - Lehman Brothers Collection

The Times Mirror Company

List of Deals

The Times Mirror Company originated as a small four-page daily newspaper. The Mirror Printing and Binding House, established in 1873 primarily for commercial printing, agreed in 1881 to print a new newspaper called the Los Angeles Daily Times, soon renamed the Los Angeles Times. General Harrison Gray Otis was named editor. In 1884 Otis and Colonel H.H. Boyce purchased both the newspaper and the printing company, incorporating them into the Times-Mirror Company. The hyphen was soon dropped. The newspaper set out to attract new residents and businesses to the then-quiet town of Los Angeles. Over time, the newspaper was promoting a free harbor at San Pedro, in 1891, and construction of the city's first freeway, in 1930. Otis and his son-in-law, Harry Chandler, destroyed competitors by controlling circulation routes. The newspaper was known to serve Otis and Chandler's political interests, and it prevented unionization long after unions had become strong in the East. The paper was long known for its right-wing slant and even used bogus photos in its campaign against socialist author Upton Sinclair in his 1935 gubernatorial race.

By 1948 the company had begun an acquisitions program, purchasing Publishers Paper Company of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Another major acquisition was made in 1961 when Times Mirror bought Jeppesen Sanderson, the world's leading publisher of air navigation information and flight-training systems. That same year, Times Mirror acquired the H.M. Gousha Company, a producer of modern travel maps and pioneer of the accordion-fold map. By 1963 Times Mirror was expanding into other specialized publishing, acquiring Matthew Bender & Company, the largest publisher of legal forms and legal treatises in the United States. Two years later Times Mirror acquired Year Book Medical Publishers, publishers of medical reference books.

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