Morris Communications Company History Timeline


Newspapers are the foundation and core business of the company owned by the Morris family since 1945.

In 1945, Bill Morris, his wife, Florence, and a friend purchased controlling interest in The Chronicle.


1955: Morris and his wife purchase the remaining interest in the Chronicle and also buy the Augusta Herald.


Radio Augusta WRDW was purchased by Southern Newspapers in 1956 and marks the beginning of over half a century of radio ownership by the Morris family.

Billy Morris, who had delivered the hometown newspapers from horseback as a boy, joined the company in 1956 as assistant to the president, a few days before his 22nd birthday.

William S. “Billy” Morris III, who delivered newspapers from horseback in his hometown as a boy, Southeastern Newspapers in 1956, a few days before his 22nd birthday, as assistant to the president.


In 1960 it acquired two daily newspapers in Savannah, Georgia.


In 1962, Wallace sold the book to the owner of the publication that was to become Alaska magazine.


He later joined the Savannah Morning News as a reporter and was named publisher in 1966.


The company's first Alaskan newspaper was acquired in 1969 in Juneau.

A 1969 purchase of the Juneau Empire (now the Alaska Empire) brought in magazines dedicated to the Frontier State.

In 1969 the magazine changes its name to Alaska Magazine to reflect its coverage of all the activities that make a visit to Alaska a life changing experience, from fishing to mountain climbing to cruising.


Morris Communications Corporation was established in 1970, with Southeastern Newspapers Corp. as a subsidiary, and descended from a corporate structure dating to the 19th century.

Founded by Charles H. Morris in Savannah, Georgia in 1970, the company today owns and operates about 60 publications as well as over a dozen network-affiliate television stations and other media-related ventures in ten states and the Caribbean.

From a humble start in 1970 with just two newspapers, Morris Newspaper Corporation has grown steadily and today owns and operates over sixty five publications in nine states and the Caribbean.


Four Texas dailies were acquired in 1972.


Eugene Morris describes being hired as an account supervisor and media director at Burrell Advertising in 1974


Gray's was established in 1975 as a hunting, fishing, and outdoor magazine that featured literary articles and color photo essays.

Ed and Rebecca Gray started Gray’s Sporting Journal on their kitchen table in the Fall of 1975.


MCC's online division also included Stauffer Media Systems, which was established in 1977 to offer business and accounting software designed specifically for the newspaper industry.


5, 1978, as a weekly newspaper devoted to coverage of the Quarter Horse industry with an emphasis on Quarter Horse racing.

The inaugural issue of Fly Tyer launched in the Spring of 1978 with Dick Surrette as the editor.


In 1981 MCC acquired Quarter Horse News.


The same boy who delivered newspapers on horseback never lost his passion for all things equine, and in 1982 his passion for equine sports and the outdoors helped fuel the acquisition Quarter Horse News, a three-year-old magazine.


In 1983 the acquisition of Florida Publishing Co. for $200 million gave MCC its largest newspaper, the Florida Times-Union, in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as a smaller daily in St Augustine, Florida.

In 1983 he became chairman, the role he serves today.


In 1985 Morris Communications moved into outdoor advertising with the purchase of Naegele Outdoor Advertising, Inc., later renamed Fairway Outdoor Advertising.

Cadogan Guides was founded in 1985…history t/k


In 1987 MCC established Morris News Service, which became a leading supplier of regional and national news.

In 1987, Morris founded his own advertising agency entitled Eugene Morris Communications, Inc. (EMC). EMC has been ranked as one of Black Enterprise’s top fifteen advertising agencies.

Eugene Morris describes starting Morris Randall Advertising and E. Morris Communications, Inc. in 1987


When Natalee Roberts founded the Northeast Equine Journal in 1988, New England was served by a fragmented marked of equine magazines and newspapers.

American Angler was born in the winter of 1988 as a quarterly magazine called American Angler & Fly Tyer.


In 1989 the company launched Athens Magazine and purchased Gray's Sporting Journal.

Morris Media Network acquired Gray’s in 1989 and continues to live up Ed and Rebecca’s standards for this unique publication, which The Washington Post once called “this little gem.” Gray’s is the original journal of fine sporting literature, art and photography.


According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Naegele Outdoor Advertising was the third largest outdoor advertising company in the United States in 1990 with 18,000 billboards in 15 markets.

In 1990 MCC acquired a second Alaskan daily newspaper in Kenai.


Over the ensuing years it assumed various name changes, eventually becoming the stand-alone title American Angler in January, 1991.

Several divisions of Naegele were sold in 1991.

In 1991, Morris Publishing Group was formed to assume the operations of the newspaper business segment of its parent, Morris Communications Co.


It struggled through several editors, owners, formats, and name changes until 1992, when the title was purchased by Abenaki Publishers and moved to Bennington, Vermont.


1994: MCC acquires Stauffer Communications Inc. for $275 million.

When Nikki Hardin started skirt! in 1994, there wasn’t anything around quite like it, especially not for women.


The single largest expansion in numbers of properties occurred in 1995 with the purchase of all outstanding stock of Stauffer Communications, Inc., of Topeka, Kan.

Since 1995, Morris Communications has built a strong record of leadership in the digital publishing environment.

In the summer of 1995, with the position of American Angler well established, Abenaki re-launched Fly Tyer as a quarterly in its original fly-tying-only format.


MCC would begin publishing Barrel Horse News in 1996.

For 1996 MCC's revenues were reported at $360 million.

The year 1996 was one of several acquisitions.


New papers were launched in small markets in Florida and Nebraska in 1997.

1997: MCC acquires The Globe Pequot Press and enters the book publishing business; MCC acquires Best Read Guides Franchise Corp. officially went live online in 1997 and since then has reflected the deep commitment and dedication to a way of life that involves horses.


ICS Books Inc., based in Merrillville, Indiana, was added to the Globe Pequot operation in 1998; it published outdoor recreation books.

MCC's first international venture was the acquisition of London-based Cadogan Guides and the establishment of Morris Publications Ltd. in London in 1998.


Others were purchased in 1999, and three related Nebraska publications were started in December 1999, giving MCC more than 20 free community papers in all.


Acquisitions in early 2000 also included a specialized publication, Senior Living, in Tennessee, as well as start-up of another, Tennessee Antiques.


Western Horseman became a part of the Morris Media Network in September of 2001.


Morris Media Network acquired skirt! in 2004, Nikki Hardin leads the brand out of Charleston overseeing its expansion to 5 print markets and 32 digital markets.


In 2011 Morris Communications entered into a strategic partnership with NIIT Technologies, a leading information technologies solutions organization based in New Delhi, India and serving clients in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.


By the time Morris Media Network acquired the Equine Journal in 2012, New England was dominated by Robert’s Equine Journal and Morris Media Network’s Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar, and both publications had expanded to New York, Pennsylvania and beyond.


In 2013, Will lead the family in a new direction by creating and becoming CEO of Morris Venture Capital, a direct investment vehicle designed to explore new areas for locating and assisting businesses with potential for growth and expansion.


A merger of two of the most innovative entities in the Western equine industry took place in 2018 as Western Horseman and Tootie Bland’s Road to the Horse joined forces to create a powerhouse advocacy for natural horsemanship training and practices.


After the 2019 event, Morris Communications Company, LLC officially took the reins of the World Championship of Colt Starting.

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Augusta, GA
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Amanda Morris
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Morris Communications is 78 years old.

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Amanda Morris founded Morris Communications.

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