The Bristol Herald Courier is a 39,000 circulation daily newspaper owned by Berkshire Hathaway. The newspaper is located in Bristol, Virginia, a small city located in Southwest Virginia on the Tennessee border.
The Herald Courier is in what the media industry calls a converged newsroom, meaning its online () print (Herald Courier) and broadcast (WJHL-Johnson City) operations work together closely. Herald Courier reporters are trained to occasionally deliver webcasts of Bristol news, conduct TV "talk-backs" with WJHL and gather audio for daily stories. News Channel 11 reporters often have bylined storeys that appear in the Herald Courier news pages. Under Media General, both operations provided content for TriCities.com, a subsidiary of Media General's Digital Media Department. The future of the website is said to be up in the air.
In 2010, the Herald Courier won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the highest honour in American journalism, for "illuminating the murky mismanagement of natural-gas royalties owed to thousands of land owners in southwest Virginia, spurring remedial action by state lawmakers."
The beginning of the present Bristol Herald Courier came in 1865. That was the year John Slack founded the Bristol News, a publication which continued until after the turn of the century. In 1870, Slack launched the Bristol Courier, a weekly which became Bristol's first daily paper in 1888. George L. Carter, founder of the Clinchfield Railroad, moved to Bristol in 1903 and founded the Bristol Herald. When Carter left Bristol in 1907 the Herald was combined with the Courier and became the Bristol Herald Courier.
On October 16, 1949, T. Eugene Worrell and a number of the city's leading businessmen launched the Bristol Virginia-Tennessean, first published in direct competition with the Herald Courier and the evening News Bulletin. After a large number of months of intense rivalry, the Herald Courier and Virginia-Tennessean joined in a printing agreement allowing both to carry on competitively in news and editorial fields while enjoying economies afforded by joint operations.
In 1986, after 36 years of home deliveries, the Bristol Virginia-Tennessean succumbed to the trend of dying afternoon newspapers and was combined with the morning editions of the Bristol Herald Courier. The combined morning publication with three editions covered and circulated in nine Southwest Virginia counties, Upper East Tennessee and the City of Bristol.
January 1, 1998 marked the sale of the Bristol Herald Courier to Media General. It was sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 2012.
Under the new ownership of Berkshire Hathaway, Bristol Herald Courier has rebranded it's online presence moving from "tricities.com" to "heraldcourier.com" . The newspaper now operates only in print and online, and is no longer affiliated with the TV station WJHL.
The Bristol Herald Courier is located at 320 Bob Morrison Blvd in Bristol, Va. The BHC is the dominant news source for the Bristol and Southwest Virginia region and in 2008 and 2009 won five national journalism awards, including four from the Associated Press Sports Editors and one from the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. The paper was a 2007 national finalist for online convergence by the Associated Press Managing Editors. Staff biographies are at . On September 14, 2009, former Sports Editor Jim Cnockaert was convicted of child pornography.