The current Herald has a history that can be traced back through two lineages and two media moguls nearly a century separated. Its history involves the Daily Advertiser and the old Boston Herald and it was owned at one point by William Randolph Hearst and later by Rupert Murdoch.
The Daily Advertiser was established in 1813 in Boston by Nathan Hale. The paper grew to prominence through the 19th century taking over other Boston area papers. In 1904, William Randolph Hearst began publishing his own newspaper in Boston called The American. Hearst ultimately ended up purchasing the Daily Advertiser in 1917. By 1938, the Daily Advertiser had changed to the Daily Record, and The American had become the Sunday Advertiser. A third paper owned by Hearst called the Afternoon Record, which had renamed to Evening American, merged in 1961 with the Daily Record to form the Record American. The Sunday Advertiser and Record American would ultimately be merged in 1972 into a line of newspapers that stretched back to the old Boston Herald.
The old Boston Herald was founded in 1846 by a group of Boston printers jointly under the name of John A. French & Company. They paper was published as a single sheet, two-sided paper and it was sold it for one cent. Its first editor, William O. Eaton, just 22 years old, said "The Herald will be independent in politics and religion; liberal, industrious, enterprising, critically concerned with literacy and dramatic matters, and diligent in its mission to report and analyze the news, local and global."
Even earlier than the Herald, the Boston Traveler was founded in 1825 as a bulletin for stage coach listings. In 1912, the Herald acquired the Traveler, eventually becoming the Boston Herald Traveler, in 1967.
By 1972, the Herald Traveler had been sold to the Hearst Corporation, which still owned the Record American, eventually merging the two into the Boston Herald American. The paper became a tabloid newspaper in September 1981. On December 20, 1982, the paper was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, who changed its name back to the Boston Herald. The Herald continued to grow over the ensuing decades, expanding its coverage and increasing its circulation.
Today, through Herald Media, Inc., it publishes four daily newspapers, 87 weekly papers, and 21 shoppers in greater Boston and on Cape Cod.