The Telegraph, frequently referred to as the Macon Telegraph, is a McClatchy newspaper in Macon, Georgia, United States, and is the primary print news organ in central Georgia. It is the third-largest newspaper in the state (after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Augusta Chronicle).
The Macon Telegraph began printing as a weekly newspaper in 1826, three years after the incorporation of the city of Macon. In 1831, it became the city's first daily newspaper. It continued to print during the American Civil War, during which time it was known as the Daily Macon Telegraph and Confederate.
While many other papers were being published in early Macon, at least five were absorbed into The Telegraph and most others folded. However, in 1884, a teenaged Telegraph employee spent $8 and founded The Macon Evening News, which would eventually compete with the older, morning paper for readers.
The Anderson Era
In 1914, the Anderson brothers, William T. and Peyton T., purchased the paper. Under their leadership, the paper inaugurated a special page focusing on the black community. They also purchased The Macon News and combined some staff positions between the two papers. The News continued to publish in the afternoon, while the Telegraph remained the morning paper.
In 1946, Peyton T. Anderson's son, Peyton, took over the papers. He became known for giving his editors great freedom to report the facts, as well as being a "pillar of the community". He sold the Telegraph and News in 1969 to Knight Newspapers, and subsequently invested the proceeds. Much of that money was left in his will to start one of Macon's major charitable foundations.
The new ownership merged with Ridder Publications in 1974 to create Knight Ridder. At the same time, the Saturday editions of the Telegraph and News merged.
This foreshadowed a larger merger, as in 1983, the two papers' daily editions merged. The new Macon Telegraph and News was published as a morning paper seven days a week. During this era, Randall Savage and Jackie Crosby earned the paper its lone Pulitzer Prize to date in 1985 for an investigation into academic and athletics at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The paper officially changed its name back to The Macon Telegraph in 1990, bringing over a century of The Macon News to an end. Even so, some local residents continue to refer to the paper by the former, combined name.
In 2005, the name "Macon" was also dropped from the masthead, possibly signaling greater emphasis on the central Georgia area as a whole. As a result, the official, correct name of the newspaper is The Telegraph.
In 2006, Knight Ridder was sold to The McClatchy Company, bringing the Telegraph under a new owner once again.