|Founded||May 1, 1910, as El Pueblo Vasco|
|Headquarters||Calle Pintor Losada 7, Bilbao 48004 Spain|
|Circulation||119,601 daily in 2006|
El Correo (Spanish for "The Courier") is the leading daily newspaper in Bilbao and the Basque Country of northern Spain. Its circulation, over 119,000, is the seventh-highest among general interest newspapers in Spain.
The brothers Ybarra y de la Revilla brothers –Fernando, Gabriel and Emilio– founded El Pueblo Vasco ("The Basque People") on May 1, 1910, with Juan de la Cruz as founding editor. The paper supported Vizcaya's young Conservative Party and its editorial line was clerical, Alfonsist monarchist, free press and Basque regional autonomist. The paper's chief competitor in Bilbao was La Gaceta del Norte.
Due to these conservative stances, El Pueblo Vasco was shut down by the Spanish Republic government on July 17, 1936, just before the Spanish Civil War. It was almost a year later, July 6, 1937, when the paper published again, after the fall of Bilbao; it was joined on newsstands by El Correo Español, the official newspaper of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS, the Spanish fascist party, using the seized presses of the Basque nationalist daily Euzkadi.
By order of dictator Francisco Franco's government on April 13, 1938, the two papers combined as El Correo Español-El Pueblo Vasco, owned by El Pueblo Vasco S.A. but controlled by the Falange. During the first 15 years of Franco's regime, El Correo acquired its competitors El Noticiero Bilbaíno (1939) and El Diario Vasco (1945). Upon this last purchase, the company's name was changed to Bilbao Editorial S.A.
The year 1965 saw El Correo move to its current offices in Calle Pintor Losada, convert to tabloid format and increase the number of pages. In 1976, El Correo for the first time surpassed La Gaceta del Norte in sales, becoming the best-selling newspaper in northern Spain.
Also around this time, publisher Javier de Ybarra y Bergé was kidnapped and murdered by ETA, a Basque nationalist terrorist organisation.
El Correo was the original promoter of La Vuelta, the yearly bicycle race around Spain. However, due to ETA's threats, it was decades ago that La Vuelta passed through the Basque Country.
The 1980s brought geographic expansion, as El Correo began to publish editions outside the Bilbao metro area and so it purchased El Diario Montañés, a newspaper in Santander. The paper now publishes nine local editions: five within the province of Vizcaya, which includes Bilbao, and one each serving the provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa (sharing territory with El Diario Vasco), Burgos (in the city of Miranda de Ebro) and La Rioja.
The daily comic strip Don Celes (by Luis del Olmo, originally published in La Gaceta del Norte) is now a symbol of the newspaper.