Knoxville News Sentinel

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Knoxville News Sentinel

In 1886 publisher John Trevis Hearn founded The Sentinel as an evening newspaper. Hearn is prominent in Knoxville history for changing the way paperboys were paid. Instead of a weekly salary, Hearn sold the papers to boys who resold them to the public for their own profit.

A competing newspaper, the Knoxville News, was established in 1921 by Robert P. Scripps and Roy W. Howard. The News did not align itself with any political party, and soon gained a reputation as an active voice against corruption and fiscal irresponsibility. The News criticized the state's law against teaching evolution and helped establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was instrumental in modernizing the state constitution, obtaining statewide compulsory voting registration, and fighting segregation in schools and public facilities.

The News absorbed The Sentinel in 1926 and became The Knoxville News-Sentinel, which continued as an afternoon paper until 1986. In that year it switched to a morning publication.

In 1994 the News Sentinel was among the first newspapers to establish a website. The newspaper now manages a variety of award-winning websites, including and sports site

The News Sentinel has established a record for being a leading influence behind the passage of strong shield and open meetings laws in Tennessee.  The paper's watchdog journalism has been recognized with top awards including the Scripps Howard Foundation's National Journalism Award for the First Amendment and the National Headliner Award for Public Service.

News is offered in a variety of platforms, and the staff is actively expanding on those offerings.  In 2010, the News Sentinel received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for one of its video documentaries.  This award from the Radio Television Digital News Association honors excellence in electronic journalism.

The News Sentinel is the cornerstone of the KNS Media Group.  The KNS Media Group delivers valuable information and services to East Tennessee through the daily News Sentinel and a growing number of websites, magazines, community newspapers, special events, commercial prints and distribution services.

Patrick Birmingham, chief revenue officer and regional publisher
Founded: 1886; consolidated as The Knoxville News Sentinel: 1926

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Contact Information

2332 News Sentinel Drive
Knoxville, TN 37921
phone: 865-523-3131 
fax: 865-342-6400