The South Bend Tribune is a newspaper located in South Bend, Indiana, and distributed in the Michiana (Indiana, Michigan, United States) region. There are five editions for distribution in southwestern lower Michigan, Mishawaka (2 editions), Marshall County, and the South Bend Metro area. The South Bend Tribune has a daily circulation of 62,000 and Sunday circulation of 80,000 with an average daily readership of 132,900 adult daily readership and 171,700 adult Sunday.
Because the University of Notre Dame is close to the South Bend city limits, the Tribune receives much of its readership due to its sports coverage. Other sections include Community, Business, and Entertainment. The tribune also operates a number of separate publications, including "In The Bend", and "ND Insider".
The key executives are President and Publisher Kim Wilson, Vice President of Operations Kevin Shaw, and Vice President of Advertising Steve Schmidt.
Alfred B. Miller and Elmer Crockett founded the Tribune in 1872 in South Bend, a manufacturing center on the St. Joseph River in northern Indiana. The Tribune's reputation at the time as a conservative, Republican-leaning editorial voice put it at a disadvantage in competition with the more Democrat-leaning News Times.
A popular legend has it that Franklin Schurz Sr., the publisher and a nephew of Alfred Miller, took polka lessons, then sponsored weekly polka nights on South Bend's Polish west side. The social events were a huge hit and helped establish inroads for the newspaper in the immigrant community. Such community outreach and the newspaper's aggressive reporting helped push the Tribune past the News Times, which went out of business in the 1950s.
Franklin Schurz Sr. served as editor and publisher of the Tribune through its periods of highest growth. With his prominent place in the business community, he helped chart a new direction for the local economy after Studebaker closed in 1963 and other factories scaled back production.
During the 1960s and 1970s, when the Fighting Irish football teams were among the nation's elite, sports editor emeritus Joe Doyle was a close confidant of coach Ara Parseghian. Forrest "Woody" Miller covered Irish men's basketball for decades, including the glory days of coach Digger Phelps.
Descendants of the founders have served as editor and publisher for 124 of the newspaper's 136 years. Franklin Schurz Jr. succeeded his father after the Tribune's centennial in 1972; the recent past editor and publisher, David Ray, is a great-grandson of Elmer Crockett.
Like other newspapers, the Tribune has had challenges keeping its circulation numbers up. From a peak of more than 130,000 Sunday readers in the 1970s, Sunday circulation has dipped below 100,000. From more than 100,000 daily subscribers, the recent numbers are now closer to 60,000. As a result, the Tribune is attempting to reach more readers through new web-based products and specialty magazines, such as, its In The Bend publication, featuring Arts and Entertainment news in the surrounding communities. The Tribune once served towns ranging from as far east as Angola, to Rensselaer on the west. It now serves 11 counties: nine in north-central Indiana and two in south-central Michigan.
The Tribune's online publications include: