|Editor||Peter Barron (from 1999)|
The Northern Echo is a daily regional morning newspaper serving the north-east of England. The paper is based in Priestgate, Darlington. Its first edition was published on 1 January 1870. The paper was started by John Hyslop Bell with the backing of the Pease family as a liberal alternative to existing local papers.
The Northern Echo enjoyed early success under its second editor, W.T. Stead, who brought the paper international notoriety during the Bulgarian Atrocities agitation in 1876. Gladstone and other leading Liberals became great admirers and the historian E.A. Freeman went so far as to declare the Northern Echo, "the best paper in Europe." However, the loss of Stead to the Pall Mall Gazette in 1880 and the resignation of founder, Bell in 1889, took a heavy toll on the Echo and its sales slumped to a critical low for decades after. The collapse of the Pease dynasty and increased competition from rival newspapers added to the Echo's troubles and, by the time it limped into the twentieth century, it was on the verge of bankrupcy.
It was saved from ruin in 1903, when it was acquired by the North of England Newspaper Company, a group owned by chocolateers Rowntree. A further takeover by Westminster Press (also known as the Starmer Group) in 1921 secured the Echo's future.
Today, The Northern Echo is owned by Newsquest (Yorkshire and North East) Ltd. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations during the second half of 2006, The Northern Echo sold on average approximately 51,000 copies each day. It has five editions, covering Teesside, North Yorkshire, North Durham, South-West Durham and Darlington. In June 2008, the newspaper announced it would reduce the number of editions to two, having previously decided it may cut that to just one.
Although traditionally a broadsheet, since 26 February 2007 the newspaper has been published in a tabloid format. The newspaper transformed itself from a broadsheet to a tabloid in a one-year transition process, beginning with Saturday editions on 14 January 2006. Other traditional British broadsheets, including The Times, The Independent, and The Guardian, made similar moves in the 2000s.
The Northern Echo has a number of sister publications, including the weekly Darlington & Stockton Times and the free Advertiser series.
When former Editor Harold Evans left the Echo in 1967, he moved to London as Editor of the Sunday Times, a post he held for 14 years, before moving on to The Times, where he stayed just a year.