William Randolph Hearst
Hearst Corp., New York
A reporter with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, Hearst returned to his native San Francisco in 1887 to run his father's Examiner. With heavy promotion plus "mass appeal" editorial content, he built the first national newspaper chain; paid top salaries; introduced bold headlines, halftone newsprint photos and color comics; and invested heavily in new technology and promotion. His worldwide publishing empire eventually would include 32 major city papers; 13 magazines; King Features Syndicate; radio and TV stations; Metrotone News; and movie and book companies. At one time, he lobbied successfully for legislation that forced California publishers to prove challenged circulation figures in court.