Paddock Publications and the northwest suburban region of Chicago : a post-World War II analysis
Jonak, Charles M.
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This study concerns the developmental relationship between Paddock Publications, publisher of The Daily Herald, and the newspaper group's coverage area, the northwest suburban region of Chicago. Taken in the time frame of the post-World War II period to present and built upon the framework of that era's suburban growth phenomenon in the United States, the growth and development of the two elements were studied. First, the general trends of American suburban development and growth were considered in terms of sociological and socioeconomic factors. Through an examination of related literature, elements such as population (with demographic considerations), housing, education, community services, commerce, industry, employment and transportation were found to display rapid development and growth in suburban regions after World War II. The American middle class' typical member, along with a large portion of the nation's business community, increasingly found the suburban setting more appealing than the urban environment. The American city previously had dominated as the center of national activity in the areas mentioned. From that point, the study goes on to consider the northwest suburban region of Chicago within the framework established in the previous chapter. Again, related literature was utilized to determine what developmental and growth trends unfolded after World War II in terms of the same sociological and socioeconomic factors. While the various suburbs studied demonstrated variety in regards to their development and growth, the northwest suburban region as a whole closely paralleled national trends. The "golden corridor," as it is termed, grew into a thriving middle- class suburban region, which increasingly became less dependent upon its parent city. Prior to the post-World War II period, Paddock Publications, a family-owned company for three generations, had established itself in the northwest suburban region. The newspapers published by the Paddocks had a background of serving rural communities. However, as the suburban sprawl edged into the newspapers' coverage area, the firm’s management realized the need for adaptation to ensure survival. Through a review of related literature and personal interviews with two of the company’s principal figures, Paddock Publications' post-World War II development and growth was charted. The newspapers evolved into suburban (community) publications and then, during the 1970s, into a regional daily newspaper with various editions. The development and growth centered around two major areas. First, in regards to frequency of publication, the newspapers went from weekly to tri-weekly to daily, eventually including Saturday and Sunday editions. Second, the newspapers' philosophy, specifically in terms of news coverage and advertising, changed from strictly local to primarily regional. Both of those areas were affected "by changes in readers' and advertisers’ interests, as well as competition from other newspapers. The overall conclusion of this study is that Paddock Publications definitely was affected by the development and growth of the northwest suburban region of Chicago and, indeed, was very much a part of it. As the region matured, likewise did The Daily Herald. Areas for further study are included in recognition of the likelihood that continued development regarding elements of this study will warrant future consideration.