Tacoma was a hearty harbor town in 1912, with four daily newspapers to keep its citizens apprised of the latest news. Earning its share of press space was the cityís plan for developing waterfront properties along Commencement Bay. With the road from Puget Sound to Mt. Rainier finally complete, the city's founding fathers were eager to publicize the plentiful opportunities in commerce and industry.
News of the development plan circulated to Ohio where it caught the interest of Frank S. Baker, son of Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper owner Elbert H. Baker. Frank journeyed westward and found the northwest to his liking. He persuaded his father to join him in acquiring a newspaper that needed some financial support, The Tacoma Daily Tribune. With the purchase on October 26, 1912, the Baker legacy began.
Six years later, The News Tribune absorbed two of its competitors to become Tacomaís leading daily newspaper. Frank Baker served as editor until his death in 1960. Building on the principles of far coverage, presentation of opposing views, and the rights of the people to know what was happening in their city and beyond, he established a solid reputation in the community as well as in the industry.
Frankís son, Elbert H. Baker II, and daughters, Mary Baker Russell and Elizabeth Baker Kelley, became the newspaperís owners following their fatherís death. Elbert took over as publisher, and continued his fatherís dedication to zealous news gathering and reporting. As Tacoma grew to become the stateís second largest city, The News Tribune grew to become the stateís third largest newspaper. The paperís operations had long outgrown the facility at 711 St. Helens St., and various departments were housed in different downtown locations. In 1973 The News Tribune built a new home in a state-of-the-art facility at 1950 South State Street designed especially for it. The site remains the home of The News Tribune today.
Elbert Baker II served as publisher until he and his sisters sold The News Tribune to McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., in August of 1986.
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