The Morning Call is a daily newspaper based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The newspaper is owned by tronc, Inc. (formerly known as Tribune Publishing), whose other publications include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Sun-Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Daily Press and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Morning Call serves a nine-county region of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey and is the largest circulation newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, the third most populous region of Pennsylvania. It ranks among the nation's top 100 largest-circulation daily newspapers, with circulation of 80,548 daily readers and 119,216 Sunday readers.
The Morning Call's history goes back to 1883 when The Critic, an Allentown newspaper, was founded. The editor, owner and chief reporter of The Critic was Samuel S. Woolever.
In what would become a family dynasty that would oversee the company for four decades, in 1894 Muhlenberg College senior David A. Miller went to work for The Critic as its sole reporter. Its owners were Charles Weiser, editor, and Kirt W. DeBelle, business manager.
A reader contest was involved in the naming of the newspaper when, in late 1894, the company said that a school boy or girl in Lehigh County would receive $5 in gold if he or she could guess the publication's new name. The identity of the lucky winner is lost to history, but on Jan. 1, 1895, Allentown City Treasurer A.L. Reichenbach, who had supervised the contest, read out the new name: "The Morning Call."
That same year, David A. Miller and his brother Samuel Miller were able to purchase their first shares of The Morning Call. It was the start of a series of stock buyouts that would leave the newspaper entirely in the hands of the Miller brothers by 1904. In that nine-year period, the Miller brothers worked to gather subscribers. In one case, David A. Miller even attended a corn husking party and had every family there signed up by the time he left.
By 1920, World War I and the work of the Millers had raised circulation to 20,000. A series of newspaper mergers that year, funded by Gen. Harry Clay Trexler, led to the Millers' sale of The Morning Call to the Trexler interests. It was only after Trexler's death in 1933, and at the urging of David A. Miller's sons, Donald P. and Samuel W., that David A. Miller returned to the newspaper in 1934. In 1935 The Morning Call acquired the sole remaining Allentown newspaper, the Chronicle and News, and renamed it the Evening Chronicle. In 1938 the Sunday Call-Chronicle was first published.
In 1951, David A. Miller assumed the official title of president of the Call-Chronicle newspapers. He would keep that post until his death in 1958 at the age of 88. That September his sons, Donald and Samuel, were named publishers. After Samuel's death in 1967, Donald P. Miller continued to run the newspaper. He did so with his son, Edward D. Miller, until the late 1970s when Edward became executive editor and publisher.
The Evening Chronicle went to press for the last time in 1980. In 1981 Edward D. Miller left the newspaper, and Donald P. Miller returned as chairman. The publisher and chief executive officer was Bernard C. Stinner. They retained control of the newspaper until 1984, when it was sold to The Times Mirror Company, joining the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant and Southern Connecticut Newspapers Inc., publishers of the Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Times. Gary K. Shorts was publisher and chief executive officer from 1987 until succeeded by Guy Gilmore in 2000. Susan Hunt was named publisher in June 2001.
In September 1996, The Morning Call launched its website, themorningcall.com.
In 2000, Times Mirror was acquired by the Tribune Company, merging 11 newspapers, 22 television stations, four radio stations, a cable TV company, and Tribune Interactive.
In February 2006, Timothy R. Kennedy was named publisher.
In 2010, Timothy E. Ryan, the publisher and CEO of The Baltimore Sun Media Group, also became The Morning Call’s publisher and CEO.
In August 2014, The Morning Call became part of the company now known as tronc, Inc. (formerly known as Tribune Publishing) as Tribune Co. spun-off its publishing businesses.
In January 2016, Richard Daniels, president & CEO of the Hartford Courant Media Group, became publisher & CEO of The Morning Call after serving in that role on an interim basis since September 2015.
In March 2016, editor David M. Erdman was elevated to the dual role of Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of The Morning Call. In May 2016, Erdman retired after a 35-year career with the company.
Robert York, a San Diego Union-Tribune executive whose newspaper career includes taking photos, editing, marketing and advertising, was named the new Publisher & Editor-in-Chief and started in that role in August 2016.
The Morning Call’s vice president of advertising is James F. Feher.
The Morning Call in store and distribution box prices are: $1.75 Daily, $2.50 Sunday.
The Morning Call is one of the 9 newspapers that ran the first Peanuts comic strip.