New Hampshire Union Leader
The New Hampshire Union Leader is the daily newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 of Manchester
Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester is the largest city in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, the tenth largest city in New England, and the largest city in northern New England, an area comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It is in Hillsborough County along the banks of the Merrimack River, which...

, the largest city in the state of New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

. As of September 2010 it had a daily circulation of 48,342 and the circulation of its Sunday paper, the New Hampshire Sunday News, was 63,991. It was founded in 1863.

It was called just The Union Leader from the mid-1970s until April 4, 2005. For many years prior to that, it was known as the Manchester Union-Leader.

The paper was best known for the conservative
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 political opinions of its late publisher, William Loeb, and his wife, Elizabeth Scripps "Nackey" Loeb. Famously, the paper helped defeat Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 Senator Edmund Muskie
Edmund Muskie
Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie was an American politician from Rumford, Maine. He served as Governor of Maine from 1955 to 1959, as a member of the United States Senate from 1959 to 1980, and as Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter from 1980 to 1981...

 in his 1972 bid for the presidency by criticizing Muskie's wife, Jane, in editorials, leading him to defend her in a tearful press conference that had a clear and measured negative effect on voter perceptions of him in the state. (See also: Canuck letter
Canuck Letter
The Canuck letter was a forged letter to the editor of the Manchester Union Leader, published February 24, 1972, two weeks before the New Hampshire primary of the 1972 United States presidential election. It implied that Senator Edmund Muskie, a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential...


Over the decades, the Loebs gained considerable influence, and helped shape New Hampshire's political landscape. In 2000, after Nackey's death on January 8, Joseph McQuaid, the son and nephew of the founders of the New Hampshire Sunday News, Bernard J. and Elias McQuaid, took over publishership.


Like many newspapers, the Union Leader has a complex history involving mergers and buyouts.

The weekly Union became the Manchester Daily Union. (with a period) on March 31, 1863. The afternoon Union became a morning Daily Union (dropping the "Manchester"). Although the Union began as a Democratic paper, by the early 1910s it had been purchased by Londonderry, NH
Londonderry, New Hampshire
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 23,236 people, 7,623 households, and 6,319 families residing in the town. The population density was 555.8 people per square mile . There were 7,718 housing units at an average density of 184.6 per square mile...

 politician Rosecrans Pillsbury, a Republican.
In October 1912, the competing Manchester Leader was founded by Frank Knox
Frank Knox
-External links:...

 and financed by then-Governor Robert P. Bass
Robert P. Bass
Robert Perkins Bass was an American farmer, forestry expert, and Republican politician from Peterborough, New Hampshire. He served in both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature and as chairman of the state's Forestry Commission before being elected governor of New Hampshire in 1910...

, a member of the Progressive
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 (or Bull Moose) Party who was attempting to promote the Progressive cause in New Hampshire. The newspaper was so successful that Knox bought out the Union, and the two newspapers merged under one company, the Union-Leader Corporation, in July 1913. Owing to Pillsbury's stake in the new company, Knox moved his paper politically to the right, and the Manchester Union-Leader became a moderate, generally pro-business, Republican newspaper.

Following Knox's death in 1944, William Loeb purchased the newspaper and moved it further to the right. He often placed editorials on the front page and supported highly conservative candidates for public office. He changed Manchester Union Leader to The Union Leader in the mid-1970s to emphasize the fact that it is the only statewide newspaper in New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Sunday News was created in 1948 and later, after Loeb's failed attempts to start a Sunday edition of the Union-Leader failed, was purchased by the Union-Leader Corporation. It continues to be published under the banner of the New Hampshire Sunday News.

Two notable early employees of the New Hampshire Sunday News were Ralph M. Blagden, the first Managing Editor, and an even more prominent journalist he mentored, Benjamin C. Bradlee
Benjamin C. Bradlee
Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee is a vice president at-large of The Washington Post. As executive editor of the Post from 1968 to 1991, he became a national figure during the presidency of Richard Nixon, when he challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and...

. Bradlee was then a reporter but went on to be the Executive Editor of The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

for nearly 30 years and is now its vice president.

Editorial style

Throughout their existence, the New Hampshire Sunday News and the Union Leader and the various preceding incarnations of the Union Leader have been closely involved in state politics and during the quadrennial United States Presidential election
United States presidential election
Elections for President and Vice President of the United States are indirect elections in which voters cast ballots for a slate of electors of the U.S. Electoral College, who in turn directly elect the President and Vice President...

, national politics. The publishers' political orientations have been conservative and Republican. The owner-publishers have invariably made their opinions known in print, which has frequently prompted harsh criticism and accusations that the paper is used for not-entirely-journalistic purposes.

2009 cutbacks

In a message printed in the paper in early 2009 publisher Joseph McQuaid announced that owing to financial difficulties the Saturday edition of the paper would no longer be distributed outside of the Greater Manchester area and that Saturday content would be moved to a combined Friday/Saturday edition.

See also

  • Concord Monitor
    Concord Monitor
    The Concord Monitor is the daily newspaper for Concord, the state capital of New Hampshire. It also covers substantial portions of surrounding Merrimack and Belknap counties in New Hampshire's Lakes Region...

  • Foster's Daily Democrat
    Foster's Daily Democrat
    Foster's Daily Democrat is a six-day morning broadsheet newspaper published in Dover, New Hampshire, USA, covering southeast New Hampshire and southwest Maine...

  • Keene Sentinel
    Keene Sentinel
    The Keene Sentinel is an independently owned daily newspaper published in Keene, New Hampshire. It currently publishes seven days a week.-History:...

  • Telegraph of Nashua
    Telegraph of Nashua
    The Telegraph, frequently referred to as the Nashua Telegraph, is a daily newspaper in Nashua, New Hampshire. It was founded as the Nashua Daily Telegraph in 1869, although a weekly version dates back to 1832...

  • Portsmouth Herald

External links

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