a media industry resource

DMGT, Rothermere and Northcliffe: landmarks


This chronology is indicative only.

It covers -

  • beginnings (1881)
  • Observer, Times and Sunday Times (1905)
  • after Northcliffe (1922)
  • floating the Daily Mirror (1947)
  • expansion into US (1979)
  • consolidation of Associated Newspapers (1988)
  • GWR and Australian radio (2000)

A broader communications and media timeline is available elsewhere on this site.


1881 Tit-Bits launched by George Newnes

1886 Alfred Harmsworth employed by Edward Iliffe to edit Bicycling News

1888 Star launched (merged with Evening News in 1960)

1890 Daily Graphic launched as first London illustrated daily (merged with Daily Sketch in 1926)

1894 Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) buys ailing London Evening News

1892 Morning founded (became London Morning in 1898, then Morning Herald and merged with Daily Express in 1900)

1895 Harmsworth buys Portsmouth Evening Mail (later Southern Daily Mail)

1895 buys Glasgow Mail & Record

1896 launches Daily Mail

1899 Sunday Daily Mail launched then relaunched as weekly Illustrated Mail

1902 Times Literary Supplement launched

1903 buys Weekly Dispatch (later Sunday Dispatch)

1903 Daily Mirror launched by Harmsworth and brother Harold (1868-1940, 1st Lord Rothermere)

1904 Daily Mirror takes off after Harmsworths use new technology - first UK daily illustrated exclusively with photographs

1904 Harmsworths buy Manchester Courier for £114,500

1904 launches Overseas Mail (becomes Continental Daily Mail in 1905)

Observer, Times and Sunday Times

1905 Harmsworths buy The Observer (later sold to Astors)

1905 form Associated Newspapers

1908 Harmsworths buy Sunday Times

1908 Harmsworths buy the Times for £320,000

1908 Illustrated Weekly Budget launched as 'only 1d newspaper in the world printed in colour' but folds after seven issues

1909 Daily Sketch launched (merged with Daily Mail in 1971)

1912 sells The Observer

1915 'Teddy Tail' - first British comic strip - in the Daily Mail

1915 Sunday Pictorial launched by Rothermere (becomes Sunday Mirror in 1963)

1916 Manchester Courier closed

1918 Rothermere appointed Secretary of State

1922 death of Lord Northcliffe

After Northcliffe

1922 Daily Mail Trust Ltd formed

1922 Times sold to John Jacob Astor

1922 exhange of interests with Beaverbrook

1923 Beaverbrook on-sells Sir Edward Hulton's Daily Sketch, Sunday Herald and other titles to Rothermere for £6 million

1924 Rothermere sells Glasgow Mail & Record

1928 forms Northcliffe Newspapers as regional chain, buying titles in Wales, Midlands and North-East of England

1930 News Chronicle formed by merger of Daily News and Daily Chronicle. Merged with Daily Mail in 1960

1933 relationship with Beaverbrook dissolved

1934 Daily Mail publishes the first newspaper photograph transmitted by beam radio (from Melbourne to London)

1935 Northcliffe Newspapers takes 40% stake in Bristol United Press

1939 Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfurst v Rothermere

1939 Yorkshire Post merges with Rothermere's Leeds Mercury

1940 death of Lord Rothermere

Floating the Daily Mirror

1947 Daily Mirror floated

1949 Northcliffe Newspapers buys Lincoln evening newspaper

1949 Northcliffe Newspapers buys Leicester evening newspaper

1959 Northcliffe Newspapers buys West Country Publications (inc Western Morning News, West Briton, Plymouth Evening Herald, Tiverton Gazette and Cornish Guardian)

1960 merger of Daily Sketch and Daily Mail

1961 closure of the Sunday Dispatch

1962 buys Retford Times

1964 Daily Telegraph magazine launched

expansion into US

1979 buys American Lawyer group

1980 Evening News closes

1980 gains 50% of Evening Standard

1982 Mail on Sunday launched

1985 gains remainder of Evening Standard

1985 buys Glebesword

1987 relaunches Evening News in competition with Maxwell's London Daily News

1987 closes Evening News after London Daily News fails

Consolidation of Associated Newspapers

1988 Daily Mail & General Trust buys remaining 50.05% of Associated Newspapers

1989 sells National Opinion Polls (NOP) to MAI for £16m

1989 sells American Lawyer group

1990 buys Hobsons publishing

1990 buys 70% of Hungarian regional paper Kisalfold

1991 takes stake in Westcountry Television

1992 buys Malden Publications

1993 establishes UK News as joint venture with Pearson

1994 sells five titles, including The Field and Shooting Times, to Reed-Elsevier's IPC Magazines

1994 buys Nottingham Evening Post and sister titles

1995 buys British Pathé film archive

1995 buys Argus Business Media for £35m

1996 buys 20% stake in ITN for £20.5m from Granada and Carlton

1996 sells stake in buys Westcountry Television to Carlton

1996 buys stake in UK radio broadcaster LNR from Reuters in partnership with GWR and ITN

1998 death of third Lord Rothermere

1999 buys Environmental Data Resources, real estate data services

2000 buys Aero-Dynamics Corp

2000 buys Verlagsforum, German education and recruitment group

2000 sells VetStream

2000 buys Australian Trade Exhibitions

2000 buys Mayhill Publications (AntiqueWeek) in US for £15m

GWR and Australian radio

2000 sells UK radio interests (inc LBC and News Direct) to GWR, gaining 29.9% stake

2001 buys Ireland on Sunday from Scottish Radio Holdings for £7.4m

2001 buys energy specialist Gulf Publishing Company for US$10m

2001 sells Johansens to Advance

2002 buys Brisbane radio 4BH from APN

2002 buys environmental business assets of Fidelity National Information Solutions

2002 buys GWR's Australian broadcast interests for £35m

2002 increases stake in GWR to 29.9%

2002 sells stake in LNR

2003 sells radio station 4BH in Brisbane to Southern Cross

2003 pays £10m for Adelaide FM radio license (launched as Nova Adelaide in 2004)

2004 pays £33m for new FM licence in Brisbane and £43m for Sydney licence

2004 pays £20m for second FM licence in Melbourne

2004 sells 57 Australian regional radio stations to Regional Media (later Macquarie Media) for $193.5m

2004 buys Bargain Pages Media - Birmingham-based free classified ad publisher for £8.5m

2004 pays £13.8m for Find a Property, UK's largest independent property website

2006 scraps planned £1.5bn sale of regional newspapers division, Northcliffe Newspapers, after three bidders fail to table high enough offer

2006 sells Aberdeen Journals arm (inc The Aberdeen Press & Journal and Aberdeen Evening Express) to DC Thomson for £132m

2006 buys energy sector publisher Genscape for £110m

2006 closes Taunton Times and sells Wellington Weekly News to Tindle Newspapers