Amarillo Daily News

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Amarillo Daily News

Prohibitionists William A. Askew, Robert E. Underwood, and Jonathan W. Crudgington purchased the Amarillo Evening American [LCCN: unknown]. Renamed the Amarillo Daily News, the newspaper lobbied against the “licensed saloon and its attendant evils” exemplified by Amarillo’s notorious Bowery District, which was filled with bars, brothels, and violent crime. Baptist deacon Dr. Joseph E. Nunn joined the News soon after its establishment. The paper was sold twice at a sheriff’s sale, the second time in 1916, when Nunn became sole owner. Nunn began issuing the News as a general morning paper covering events in Potter County. By 1918, the paper’s subscriber base doubled to 4,800. The eight-page News cost six dollars per annum and measured 15½ x 20¾ inches.

The Daily News printed both local and national reports. Notable features included a sports section as well as a weekly “Sunday School Reports” that listed Amarillo’s numerous churches. In the early 1920s, the paper reported on regional and statewide activities of the resurgent Ku Klux Klan. Manager John Lindsay Nunn, Dr. Nunn’s son, and Daily News editor David M. Warren did not approve of the Klan, but several employees of the Daily News regularly attended meetings. In a more progressive spirit, as men left Amarillo to fight in World War I, women were hired to fill reporter and editor positions.

The Amarillo newspaper market--often referred to as a newspaper graveyard--was intensely competitive during the early 20th century. In 1916, the Amarillo Daily Panhandle [LCCN: sn86088049] merged with the Daily News; the paper was issued as the News’s evening companion until 1922. Dr. and J. Lindsay Nunn later acquired the rival Daily Tribune [LCCN: sn86090700] and began a new paper, the Amarillo Evening Post [LCCN: sn86090839]. Beginning in 1924, however, the Nunns faced formidable competition from the Amarillo Globe [LCCN: sn86063737]. Two years later, Wilbur C. Hawk and Eugene A. Howe of the Globe purchased the Daily News and Evening Post for $200,000. The Globe-News Publishing Co. continued to issue the News as a separate morning paper, with the Amarillo Globe serving as the evening offering.

The Daily News and the Amarillo Globe thrived for many years. Howe became nationally known for the “Tactless Texan,” a folksy daily column written under the moniker “Old Tact.” Daily News editor Wesley Sherman “Wes” Izzard also gained widespread recognition for his column “From A to Izzard.” Until merging with the Amarillo Globe-Times [LCCN: sn86088054] in 2001, the News was published as the “Morning Newspaper of the Golden Spread.” Izzard’s son Wesley Robert “Bob” Izzard, journalist and news broadcaster, is credited with coining the popular term for the tri-state area.