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The Dallas Times Herald printed its last issue 30 years ago today

The last issue of the Dallas Times Herald hit stands 30 years ago today, turning Dallas into one of the largest single-newspaper markets in the country at the time.

DALLAS — Those of you who have lived in North Texas for a while may remember the Dallas Times Herald as the "other paper" in town - or perhaps as the "afternoon paper." 

Well, as if you needed more confirmation of just how old you've become, it turns out the last issue of the Dallas Times Herald hit newsstands 30 years ago today.

On Dec. 7, 1991, there were two competing newspapers in Dallas: the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times Herald. On Dec. 8, the staff of Times Herald gathered together one final time to produce their final issue, which came out on Dec. 9. 

In 102 years of operation, the Times Herald won three Pulitzer prizes, all for photography. The most recognizable of these is Robert H. Jackson's iconic photo of Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby fatally shooting Lee Harvey Oswald while he was in police custody. 

Credit: Dallas Times Herald
Dallas Times Herald photographer Robert H. Jackson won the Pulitzer Prize for photography in 1964 for his iconic photograph of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.

The newspaper operated bureaus in Austin, Houston, San Antonio as well as other Texas cities.

One former employee once described the Dallas Times Herald to WFAA as the "bus station of journalism," saying "everyone came through." Indeed, notable staff alums include Skip Bayless, Molly Ivins, Jim Lehrer, Blackie Sherrod, Mickey Spagnola and Robert Wilonsky.

Former employees and media watchdogs have speculated for years about why the Herald met its demise. Some blame the rapid shift of media consumption habits, since cable and TV news were gaining in popularity in the paper's final years. In fact, less than a month after the Herald shut its doors, news consumers across the country were all glued to their TVs as some guy named Wolf Blitzer on CNN told us all about Operation Desert Storm in a little country named Kuwait.

The only thing that everyone can agree on is that there was no one single reason to blame for the paper's exit. In 1992, former Herald staffer Jim Schutze gave his perspective in a D Magazine article, citing issues ranging from mismanagement, internal "samurai wars" and a sort of cold war among the three big newspapers in North Texas at the time. 

Regardless, for news junkies of a certain age in North Texas, its voice is still missed. 

Long live the Herald!

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