Twenty-nine years ago today, The Dallas Times Herald bid adieu to its loyal readers

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After years of financial difficulties and searching for potential buyers, the Dallas Times Herald said on December 9, 1991, “Goodbye, Dallas,” whose assets were acquired by its arch-rival The Dallas Morning News. Though The News rose to be the clear winner of the newspaper war in the 1980s, the loss of the Metroplex’s most widely distributed afternoon newspaper left an absence in the community.

In 1991, AH Belo announced the acquisition of most of the assets of the Times Herald Printing Co.(Eric Gay / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Times Herald had been defending itself against competitors since its debut in 1888. It was around this time that Dallas began to develop its reputation as a business city, attracting entrepreneurs from around the world to benefit from the city’s rapid growth. Newspapers were no exception, and for several decades various newspapers popped up and left as fast as publishers dominated the market.

In the 1880s, Alfred Horatio Belo saw the potential of creating a tomorrow worth competing against the already established Dallas Herald, an earlier newspaper that was first published in 1849 and not to be confused with the Dallas Times Herald. Just a few months after its debut, The News was able to consume The Herald and become the dominant morning paper. To rival the financial might of The News, The Dallas Daily Times and The Dallas Evening Herald merged to form the Dallas Times Herald in 1888.

Robert W. Decherd, Chairman and CEO of AH Belo Corporation, speaks at a press conference in Dallas in December 1991.  Belo Corporation announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the Times Herald Printing Company, publisher of the Dallas Times Herald, James P. Sheehan is on the left. Robert W. Decherd, Chairman and CEO of AH Belo Corporation, speaks at a press conference in Dallas in December 1991. Belo Corporation announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the Times Herald Printing Company, publisher of the Dallas Times Herald, James P. Sheehan is on the left. (Eric Gay – AP)

The Dallas Times Herald dwarfed other newspapers and became the daily hangout of Dallas for 112 years in circulation. Just a year before it closed, the Times Herald proposed a corporate merger of the competing newspapers while continuing to do editorial work separately. The news declined the offer.

The Times Herald has left an industry it would no longer recognize today. The News’ former competitor may never be published again, but thanks to modern digital technology, the Dallas Times Herald will be available as it has been digitized by The News and will be shared with readers as it is the next addition to The Dallas Morning publications the digital archives of news.

Once released, the two newspapers will sign a token truce as they complement each other to bring more than a century of Dallas history to the community.

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