Commercial Appeal
USINFO | 2013-08-04 17:00
The Commercial Appeal

The July 27, 2005 front page of
The Commercial Appeal
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner E. W. Scripps Company
Publisher George Cogswell[1]
Editor Chris Peck
Founded 1841 (as The Appeal)
Circulation 147,598 Daily
178,082 Sunday
ISSN 0745-4856
OCLC number 9227552
Official website

The Commercial Appeal is the predominant daily newspaper of Memphis, Tennessee, and its surrounding metropolitan area. It is owned by The E. W. Scripps Company, a major North Americanmedia company. Scripps also owned the former afternoon paper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar, which it folded in 1983.
Like most market-dominant daily papers, the CA is a seven-day morning paper. It generally takes a liberal point of view regarding editorial positions. The Commercial Appeal is distributed primarily in Greater Memphis, including Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton counties in Tennessee and DeSoto, Tate, and Tunica counties in Mississippi. These are the contiguous counties to the city of Memphis.
In 1994, The Commercial Appeal won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning by Michael Ramirez.

The paper's unusual name comes from a 19th century merger between two predecessors, the Memphis Commercial and the Appeal.

The Appeal
The Appeal had an interesting history during the American Civil War. On June 6, 1862, the presses and plates were loaded into a boxcar and moved to Grenada, Mississippi. The Appeal later journeyed to Jackson, Mississippi, Meridian, Mississippi, Atlanta, Georgia, and finally Montgomery, Alabama, where the plates were destroyed on April 6, 1865, only days before the Confederate surrender, halting publication temporarily of what had been one of the major papers serving the Southern cause. The press was hidden and saved, and publication resumed in Memphis, using it, on November 5, 1865. Another early paper, The Avalanche, was incorporated later in the 19th century. The paper is properly The Commercial Appeal and not the Memphis Commercial Appeal as it is often called, although the predecessor Appeal was formally the Memphis Daily Appeal.

Civil rights
The Commercial Appeal had a mixed record on civil rights. Despite its Confederate background the paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for its coverage and editorial opposition to the resurgent Ku Klux Klan.
From 1916 to 1968, the paper published a cartoon called Hambone's Meditations. The cartoon featured a black man, Hambone, that many African Americans came to regard as a racist caricature.[3]
In 1917, the paper published the scheduled time and place for the upcoming Lynching of Ell Persons.[4]
During the heat of the civil rights movement, the paper generally avoided coverage.[5] It did take a stance against pro-segregation rioters in 1962. However, its owner, Scripps-Howard, exerted a generally conservative and anti-union influence.[3]
The paper opposed the Memphis Sanitation Strike, portraying both labor organizers and Martin Luther King, Jr. as outside meddlers.[3][5]

'Monetizing' controversy
In the fall of 2007, the Appeal touched off a controversial policy that would have linked specific stories and specific advertisers. The proposal was greeted by outrage among media analysts, so the authors of the so-called 'monetization memo'-- the Appeal's editor and its sales manager—quietly withdrew the effort.[6]

Guns Database
At the end of 2008, The Commercial Appeal posted a controversial database listing Tennessee residents with permits to carry handguns.[7] The database is a public record in Tennessee but had not been posted online. After a permit-to-carry holder shot and killed a man in Memphis for parking too close to his SUV and vandalizing it, the gun database suddenly came to the attention of pro-gun groups, including the NRA and the Tennessee Firearms Association. Legislators who supported gun groups quickly drafted a bill to close the permit-to-carry database. The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government lobbied to keep the database public and the bill to close the database did not pass in the 2009 legislative session.
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