It hardly seems possible that it has been a whole decade since the evening and Sunday Chattanooga Free Press and the morning and Sunday Chattanooga Times were combined to become the Chattanooga Times Free Press. But it was on Jan. 5, 1999, when that occurred.
The goal has been to provide the best of both of the traditional local newspapers for our readers.
Surely one of the most unusual decisions was to have two separate and divergent editorial pages in the Times Free Press!
As a matter of fact, if there is another newspaper anywhere in the world that has two editorial pages featuring quite different philosophies, we don’t know where it is.
From its beginning as a daily newspaper in 1936, the Chattanooga Free Press had as its goal the presentation of fair and nonpartisan news reports — with a great emphasis on local news — while it expressed its point of view in support of constitutional conservatism on its editorial page.
In 1939, the Free Press purchased the Chattanooga News and became the Chattanooga News-Free Press — with the Free Press’ conservative views continuing to be expressed on the editorial page. In 1997, we decided to simplify our name, and resumed the designation Chattanooga Free Press.
In 1998, the Free Press was purchased by Walter Hussman of Little Rock, who heads the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette there, and several other newspapers. Mr. Hussman later purchased the Chattanooga Times and the two Chattanooga newspapers were combined as the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Jan. 5, 1999.
Since Chattanoogans long had been familiar with the expression of conservative political views by the Free Press and liberal political views by the Chattanooga Times, Mr. Hussman made a very wise decision to continue both editorial pages separately in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
So ever since, the conservative Free Press editorial page has appeared, appropriately, on the “right,” while the liberal Times editorial page has appeared facing it from the “left” — giving our readers variety and choice and, we hope, valuable information and stimulating debate from both points of view.
Our endeavor has been to inform and serve our community in a valuable and entertaining manner with variety.