The Herald, launched in 1890, is the oldest continuously operating business in the community. Neither flood nor fire nor a fouled-up press has prevented delivery of the Killeen Daily Herald. And during the past century or so, the local newspaper has never missed a publication date.
The newspaper was established as a weekly publication, The Killeen Herald, in June 1890 by W.E. Bennett, who sold it three years later. The paper changed hands several times in the decade that followed until Bennett bought it back in 1903. That year, Bennett bargained on the appeal of a daily newspaper, but the endeavor failed, and the paper was sold to J.T. Carter, who returned it to its weekly format. Carter remained the editor and publisher for 43 years. Meanwhile, shortly after selling the Herald, Bennett launched a semi-weekly newspaper known as the Killeen Messenger. A year after the Messenger was founded, Carter bought the operation and merged the two newspapers. The combined paper was called The Killeen Daily Herald and Messenger until it became a daily and was renamed the Killeen Daily Herald in 1953. That same year, Frank W. Mayborn, a communications pioneer, bought the Herald, guiding it through more than 30 years of social and technological change.
Not every subscriber agreed with the paper's new Monday-through-Friday, afternoon format. Many opted to hold out and remain weekly subscribers. For several years, The Messenger, a summary of local news, was printed for those subscribers. In 1969, the Herald added a Sunday edition to its lineup. But the paper wouldn't officially join the ranks of daily newspapers until 1982, when the format changed from an afternoon to a morning paper and Saturdays were added. Mayborn remained at the helm of the Killeen Daily Herald until his death in 1987. His wife, Sue Mayborn, who had served as executive vice president of Frank Mayborn Enterprises Inc. since 1979, assumed responsibilities as the owner, editor and publisher of the Killeen Daily Herald and the Temple Daily Telegram and as president of television station KCEN-TV in 1987.
During the last-half century, the Killeen Daily Herald has covered a vast array of stories, including the visit of then-President Johnson at the opening of Central Texas College; the Luby's massacre in 1991; the deployment of Fort Hood troops to the Persian Gulf to wage war with Iraq; the Jarrell tornado in 1997; and the Fort Hood Shooting in 2009. As the years progressed, so, too, did the Herald. In 1903, it moved from a fire-gutted location on Avenue D to the Northeast corner of Gray and Avenue C to 110 W. Avenue D, the paper's location when the flood of 1957 hit. In 1962, the newspaper moved to a new building at Second Street and Avenue A. It moved to its present location on Florence Road in December 1985.
General Manager Terry E. Gandy came aboard in 1998. Since then, the Killeen Daily Herald has become one of the fastest growing dailies in Texas, with a circulation of about 20,000 daily and 26,000 Sunday. In 1999, the Herald, which has more than 140 employees, underwent a massive makeover to give it a more modern look. In addition to sprucing up its appearance, the Herald concentrated on giving readers more local news through the creation of the Our Texas section.
Building on its more than 100-year tradition as a regional leader in local, state and national news, the Killeen Daily Herald recently unveiled a new, $5.5 million modern press.
The Herald launched a commercial printing operation in 2001 and introduced a monthly Homefinder magazine in 2002. To meet the growing printing needs of the company, the Killeen Daily Herald brought in the new computer-based press. The multimillion-dollar project included a 7,000-square-foot expansion of the company's building on Florence Road and the addition of a new press. It was the newspaper's first major expansion since it moved to its present location in 1985.
In its 100+ years of existence, the Killeen Daily Herald has grown from a small weekly paper to a metropolitan daily with a daily circulation of about 20,000 and a Sunday circulation of about 26,000.