The Kokomo Dispatch Reborn

The Kokomo Dispatch newspaper is a part of old Kokomo history. A newspaper with the name, “Dispatch”, in its masthead was published in Kokomo as early as 1876. Off and on over the many years, there were weekly and daily “Dispatch” papers under several different owners and that existed for varying periods of time. Ultimately and finally, The Kokomo Dispatch was published as an independent daily newspaper by Paul Poynter from 1920 to February 1929 when the sole ownership was taken over by Poynter’s son, Nelson. When the newspaper was sold to John Arthur Kautz in 1930, the Poynter family concentrated on growing its newspaper in St. Petersburg, Florida; The St. Petersburg Times. Nelson Poynter became known as a giant in the newspaper industry. The last issue of The Kokomo Dispatch under its own masthead was on May 31, 1930.

John Arthur Kautz already owned and operated the Kokomo Tribune, which he had purchased in 1897, when he purchased the Kokomo Dispatch. The Kokomo Dispatch name was carried as a part of the Tribune’s masthead until ultimately being dropped on November 3, 1966. Descendants of John Arthur Kautz owned and operated the Kokomo Tribune following Kautz’s death in 1938 until selling it to the Thomson newspaper group in 1981. Kautz’s grandson, Richard H. Blacklidge, and later his great grandson, Kent H. Blacklidge II, were the chief operating officers and publishers during this 43 year period.

The intent of the Kokomo Dispatch blog is to carry on some of the Kautz-Blacklidge newspapering tradition. It intends to provide some historical perspective on local news, developments, and controversies from the point of view of one who was born and has lived most of a life in this town. You, the reader, are invited to comment whether you agree or disagree with things written. There is plenty to say, both of praise and criticism, about goings on in our community. If you wish to add things you remember from earlier years, please feel free to do that as well. The Kokomo Dispatch reborn.

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About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As part of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest, I have a passion for a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I am also holder of three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science and the environment. I have little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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