Akron Beacon Journal

The Akron Beacon Journal is a morning newspaper in Akron, Ohio, United States. Owned by Gannett, it is the sole daily newspaper in Akron and is distributed throughout Northeast Ohio. The paper's coverage focuses on local news. The Beacon Journal has won four Pulitzer Prizes: in 1968, 1971, 1987 and 1994.[2]

Akron Beacon Journal
The March 2, 2007 front page of the
Akron Beacon Journal
TypeDaily newspaper
PublisherBill Albrecht
EditorMichael Shearer
Founded1839 (1839) (as the Summit Beacon)
Headquarters388 South Main Street
Akron, Ohio
Circulation60,000 weekdays
72,000 Saturdays
85,000 Sundays in 2017[1]


The paper was founded with the 1897 merger of the Summit Beacon, first published in 1839, and the Akron Evening Journal, founded in 1896.[2] In 1903, the Beacon Journal was purchased by Charles Landon Knight. His son John S. Knight inherited the paper, in 1933, on Charles' death. The Beacon Journal under Knight was the original and flagship newspaper of Knight Newspaper Company, later called Knight Ridder.

The McClatchy Company bought Knight Ridder in June 2006 with intentions of selling 12 Knight Ridder newspapers. On August 2, 2006, McClatchy sold the Beacon Journal to Black Press. In 2018, GateHouse Media bought the newspaper.

On November 11, 2013, the Akron Beacon Journal printed its last paper in-house. It subsequently used the presses at The Repository in Canton, Ohio, also owned by GateHouse. As of March 2019 it was using the presses at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.[3]

Notable journalists

  • Herman Fetzer: better known as "Jake Falstaff" to the Akron Beacon Journal, Akron Times and Cleveland Press readers, was born in Maple Valley, Ohio, to Levi E. and Lydia Fetzer. After graduating from Akron's West High School, he worked as suburban reporter for the Akron Times, where in 1920 he began his column Pippins and Cheese, taking its title and his pen name from William Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. While working at the Akron Beacon Journal, his desk sat adjacent to writer Josephine Van de Grift, columnist of Demi-Tasse and Mrs. Grundy.
  • Sheldon Ocker: Covered the Cleveland Indians for the Beacon Journal. Received the 2018 J. G. Taylor Spink Award;[4][5] inducted him into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.[6]
  • Terry Pluto: recognized as NSSA Ohio Sportswriter of the year multiple times. Wrote more than 20 books, mostly about Northeast Ohio sports.
  • Josephine Van de Grift: Also known as Helen Josephine Vandegrift Rigby (born 1894), an early 20th century woman writer and columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio. Her play, "The Lonely Road" won her a scholarship to partake in Dr. George Pierce Baker's Harvard 47 Workshop in Cambridge, Mass. Additionally, she worked with the N.E.A. (Newspaper Enterprise Association) in New York from 1923-1925 interviewing notable persons such as John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Will Rogers, Ring Lardner, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Dorothy Parker, Joan Gardner and others. She joined the Blue Pencil Club, an elite literary guild in 1923-1924 during the time H.P. Lovecraft was also a member. In 1923, she went undercover as a reporter on Broadway under the pseudonym of Huldah Benson. There was an entire segment published about the 6-part series in the nationwide newspapers. In December 2019, author Kristin Groulx, (who is Josephine's great-granddaughter) published a biographical book about Josephine and her column "Demi-Tasse and Mrs. Grundy." Josephine died suddenly at the age of 33 in 1927 leaving her devoted readers wondering what would become of her 18 month old daughter, Mary. Her stories and daily column "Demi-Tasse and Mrs. Grundy" were published 1924–1927 in the newspaper the Akron Beacon Journal. She was close friends with co-worker Herman Fetzer who went by the pen-name of Jake Falstaff, and wrote Pippins and Cheese during the same years Josephine worked at the Beacon Journal.


The paper has won four Pulitzer Prizes:[7]


  1. Audit Bureau of Circulations e-Circ data for the six months ending September 30, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  2. "Akron Beacon Journal". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  3. Winges, Bruce (March 2, 2019). "Beacon Journal Editor Bids Farewell". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  4. "Sheldon Ocker wins Hall of Fame's Spink Award". USA TODAY.
  5. "Ocker to receive Hall of Fame's Spink Award". ESPN.com. 12 December 2017.
  6. Lewis, Ryan (2018-07-28). "Baseball Hall of Fame: Former Beacon Journal writer Sheldon Ocker honored with J.G. Taylor Spink Award". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  7. "Beacon Journal Pulitzer Prizes". Ohio.com (Akron Beacon Journal). 2014-09-20. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
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