The Standard-Times (New Bedford)

The Standard-Times (New Bedford)
The Standard-Times
The Standard-Times (New Bedford) front page.jpg
The April 6, 2007 front page of
The Standard-Times
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner Dow Jones Local Media Group (News Corporation)
Publisher William T. Kennedy
Editor Bob Unger
Founded February 4, 1850, as Daily Evening Standard
Headquarters 25 Elm Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740
 United States
Circulation 31,629 daily, 33,524 Sunday in 2006[1]
Official website

The Standard-Times (and Sunday Standard-Times), based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is the larger of two daily newspapers covering the South Coast of Massachusetts[1], along with The Herald News of Fall River.

Like the Cape Cod Times, which is the only larger newspaper in Southeastern Massachusetts, The Standard-Times is owned by Dow Jones Local Media Group, a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Company. Together with the weekly newspapers of Hathaway Publishing, which also cover Fall River and several other suburban towns, The Standard-Times is part of Dow Jones Local Media Group's South Coast Media Group.

News Corporation acquired The Standard-Times when it bought Dow Jones & Company, Dow Jones Local Media Group Inc.'s parent, for US$5 billion in late 2007. Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp., reportedly told investors before the deal that he would be "selling the local newspapers fairly quickly" after the Dow Jones purchase.[2]



The Standard-Times' coverage area includes Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, Wareham, and Westport, Massachusetts.

The Standard-Times' main daily competitor is The Herald News of Fall River. Other rivals include The Boston Globe, the Taunton Daily Gazette and the Providence Journal.

The Cape Cod Times was originally known as The Cape Cod Standard-Times, an edition of the New Bedford paper. It split off in the 1970s.

O Jornal, a Portuguese-language weekly newspaper now owned by GateHouse Media, was purchased by The Standard-Times in 1993 from Kathy Castro and was sold in 1998 in a deal with two Fall River residents, Robert and James Karam, after Ottaway threatened to close it during staff cuts late in 1998.[3] The weekly eventually was sold to Journal Register Company, then the owner of The Herald News of Fall River.

Daily (Monday through Saturday) circulation for The Standard-Times averaged 31,629 in mid-2006, down slightly from the 33,047 reported earlier that year. The Sunday Standard-Times averaged 33,524 in the six months ending August 30, 2006, down from 34,217 in the six months ending March 31, 2006. As of September 2010, circulation has fallen sharply to 24,723 and 26,521 for daily and Sunday circulation respectively.


The current office building of The Standard-Times

The Standard-Times formed from the 1934 merger of The New Bedford Standard and The New Bedford Times.[4] The Standard had been in operation since being founded as an evening newspaper in 1850.[5]

The use of "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Ms." and "Miss" before the last names of people cited in the newspaper, still in use in sections other than sports at the start of 2007, is the legacy of longtime Standard-Times editor James M. Ragsdale, who died in 1994. Ragsdale was also credited with publishing drug and prostitution cases separately from other court news, in running features called Drug Watch and Prostitution Watch.[6] The features included photos of drug and prostitution suspects taken during arraignment and published before their cases were adjudicated.

The front-page nameplate of The Standard Times relegates its home city's name to small print, but trumpets a regional identity, "Serving the SouthCoast Community." It was The Standard-Times under Editor-In-Chief Ken Hartnett, that in the 1990s most loudly championed the name South Coast to describe the Fall River-New Bedford metropolitan area.[7] This has been hailed as civic-mindedness by some, and scorned as pointless sloganeering by others, especially longtime residents, including several writers of letters to The Standard Times opinion pages.[8] The first area business to adopt the term was Foxy Lady Southcoast, a notorious New Bedford strip club that was forced to discontinue use of its prior name, Norma Jean's, after a series of Standard-Times stories claimed the name infringed on the estate of Marilyn Monroe.

Publisher William T. Kennedy came under fire for New Bedford boosterism again in the 2000s, as critics alleged that his support for building a multi-million dollar aquarium -- he served on the board of directors for the waterfront "Oceanarium" -- was skewing The Standard-Times' coverage of cost overruns and delays.[9]


  1. ^ a b Audit Bureau of Circulation. "E-Circ" report for six months ending September 30, 2006, at, accessed January 7, 2007.
  2. ^ "Ottaway Papers Might Be Sold, Including 16 in N.E.". NEPA Bulletin (Boston, Mass.), December 2007, page 3.
  3. ^ Munroe, Tony. "Developers Purchase O Jornal." Boston Herald, August 6, 1998.
  4. ^ Doherty, John. "Funds to grow on: HUD grant will turn former S-T building into 'incubator'". The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.). Accessed February 2, 2006.
  5. ^ Contact Us, accessed July 29, 2007.
  6. ^ Sullivan, Paul. "Obituary: James M. Ragsdale, Newspaper Editor, 56." Boston Herald, August 30, 1994.
  7. ^ Higgins, Richard. "MetroWest: Gimmick or Identity?" The Boston Globe, October 18, 1998.
  8. ^ Jurkowitz, Mark. "Renaming the 'Armpit.'" The Boston Globe, June 5, 1997.
  9. ^ Wedge, David. "Debate Over Oceanarium Heats up in New Bedford." Boston Herald, June 25, 2003.

External links

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