I might consider a new name

Dennis Warden

An odd question has come up since the change in ownership of the Unterrified Democrat — will we change the name? Several readers of the U.D. have been bringing up this question with the staff in Linn. That is something I had never considered.

In 2012 Walt Disney Corp. acquired Lucasfilm, the film production company best known for producing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. I wonder if anyone asked Disney if they were going to change the name of Lucasfilm to something else?

Another big merger that most of us remember is from 2014 when Fiat took over control of Chrysler Corporation after the automotive industry crisis of 2008-2010. It would have been crazy for Fiat to drop the Chrysler name plate and replace it with Fiat.

My wife and I are the seventh owners of the Unterrified Democrat. The name on the masthead has remained the same over its 152-year history.

The name of any newspaper is rarely changed. I can only think of two reasons why an established newspaper would want to change its name. One good reason to change the name of a newspaper at the time of new ownership is if it has a bad reputation. 

Another reason is the merger of two newspapers, which has happened quite often. That was the case at the first publication I worked at after college, The Hannibal Courier-Post. The Courier-Post is the oldest daily newspaper in Missouri dating its existence back to 1832. Its name is the result of a merger in 1891 between the North Missouri Courier and the Daily Post.

I bet you can think of a couple more newspapers, just in Missouri, that are the result of a merger — the Jefferson City News-Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. All three of my examples are daily newspapers in larger cities. In the past when newspapers were much more profitable a second newspaper would go into competition with an established publication. 

They would fight it out. 

Usually they both lost money. 

Then the strongest would purchase the competition and merge the names of the two publications, retaining the customers of both newspapers.

Here are a few of the best and most unusual newspaper names I’ve found on the internet in no particular order (excluding the U.D.):

• The Impartial Reporter

• The Times-Picayune

• The Arran Banner (the only newspaper named after a potato)

• The Carlisle Mosquito

• The Tombstone Epitaph (gone but not forgotten)

• The Bullfrog Miner

• The Pantagraph, from Bloomington, Illinois

• The Sacramento Bee

• The War Cry (a newspaper for the Salvation Army)

• The Laramie Boomerang

• De Queen Bee, from De Queen, Arkansas

• The Hawkeye from Burlington, Iowa

• The Youngstown Vindicator, Ohio

• The Focus on Oak Grove, Mo.

Not only is the Unterrified Democrat worthy to be on any list of great newspaper names, it is probably one of the oldest continuously published weekly newspapers in the state of Missouri. 

For comparison, east of Linn are two old weekly publications — the Hermann Advertiser Courier, started in 1873, and the Washington Missourian has been published since 1860.

Is there any business in  Linn, or Osage County for that matter, that is older than the Unterrified Democrat? 

In Owensville, the only business that has operated longer than The Gasconade County Republican (dating back to 1902) is the U.S. Post Office.

My bet is that this is also true of the U.D. 

If you have an idea for a different name for the U.D. just email me at dwarden@wardpub.com, or you can text me on my cell phone at 573-619-9076. 

Suggest a better name than the Unterrified Democrat and I MIGHT consider changing the name. 

But, I doubt there is anything better.