The Daily Advertiser
When, in 1868, the first edition of the Wagga Wagga Advertiser and Riverine Reporter rolled off the presses, its co-founders had little idea they had begun what is now an institution in the Australian newspaper industry.

The co-founders, wealthy pastoralists Thomas Darlow and Auber George Jones, were men of ambition, vision and destiny.

Yet they could not have envisaged the impact their four-page broadsheet, which sold for sixpence, would have on the town it served.

The Advertiser, like Wagga, has moved with the times and it is a household name in the community.

In many respects the first issue of the paper on October 21, 1868 was unique in the country journalism of that era.

Firstly, the mechanical qualities were distinctive and attractive. The paper was clearly printed on fine white paper of a costly character.

This made instant appeal to a public which had been more or less accustomed to an ill-printed newspaper on inferior paper.

The paper also boasted a highly credible literary section. The editorial content included topical news from around the region as well as articles from Sydney and Melbourne written by well-known and respected journalists.

Although the news sent by telegraph in those days was necessarily brief, it was, from the beginning, the considered policy of The Advertiser to give its readers all available particulars of events which were of public interest.

It was the first newspaper in this part of the world to subscribe to Reuters Newsagency service, which was a new thing in Australia.

As the paper grew, its cable and telegraphic service was extended to meet the needs of the public.

The Advertisers first editor was Frank Hutchinson, an Oxford University graduate who was soon recognised as one of the most brilliant and cultured of Australian journalists.

The initial manager was EG Wilton, who had been trained in London.
From the start The Advertiser was a bi-weekly, coming out on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

For the first 15 years, The Advertiser was owned by Mr Jones and broadly speaking, the policy which he followed was continued after he had disposed of his interest to Stephen Sullivan and J Mackay.

Mr Sullivan was only 21 years old when he was hired as the papers first printer. He produced the first issue with his own labor on a simple mangle-style hand printing press.

Mr Sullivan became something of a legend at The Advertiser, his association with the paper spanning more than 60 years.

From the early 1870s, The Advertiser was printed on an Eagle double demy hand press Mr Sullivan brought it from Sydney to Wagga by bullock dray; a journey that took two months to complete.

The Eaglehand press had no rubber rollers on it, so Mr Sullivan known for his innovation made some out of treacle and glue! The press is now on display at the Wagga and District Historical Society Museum on Willans Hill and remarkably, is still in working order.

The Advertiser became a tri-weekly in 1880, being published each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Mr Sullivan and his father-in-law, Mr Mackay, bought the paper from Auber Jones in 1883. A progressive thinker; Mr Sullivan turned the paper into a daily on December 31, 1910.

At the same time he built new offices, at the present site in Trail Street, and installed the most modern machinery then available.

Mr Sullivan retired from the business when he went blind and handed over the management to Bob Johnston.

Mr Sullivan died in Sydney in 1933, leaving The Advertiser to his daughters, Alice and Forbie.

They sold out in the early 1950s to a company which kept the trading name of A and F Sullivan.

The new management turned The Daily Advertiser from a broadsheet into a tabloid on July 23, 1962.

Another major change came in January 1975 when the paper moved into the field of computer typeset systems combined with web-fed offset printing, replacing the traditional hot metal composition and web rotary letterpress print.

Taffy Davies was editor in 1962-63 with Jack Dennis taking over the role from 1964 to 1978. When Mr Dennis retired, he had given half a century in years of service to The Daily Advertiser.

Greg Walker became editor on the retirement of Mr Dennis who was succeeded by Mr Graham Gorrel on September 17, 1979.

On March 1, 1992 Mr Michael McCormack was appointed editor and was subsequently followed by the current editor Mr Paul McLoughlin on 15 July 2002.

John Charles Jackson was Group General Manager from October 1961 to his retirement in February 1992. Mr Jackson also served as chairman of Australian United Press from 1974 to 1992.

He died in 1994. He was succeeded by Mr Graham Gorrel who served as Group Managing Director until March 2000 when he became a Director of the Company. He retired as a Director in June 2003.

Mr Wayne Geale was appointed as Group General Manager of the Riverina Media Group on 1 April 2000 and as Chief Executive Officer in February 2004.

The company trades under the name of The Wagga Daily Advertiser Pty Ltd. The Henderson family had owned the Company for over 60 years when it was purchased by Mr and Mrs RA Henderson and subsequently run by their daughter Mrs Margaret Jarrett.

After Mrs Jarretts death in early 2002 her daughter Ms Alicia Jarrett assumed ownership.

Rural Press bought Riverina, five weeks before Rural Press merged into Fairfax Media in 2007.

The company's Australian Community Media division, including The Daily Advertiser, was bought in 2019 by Antony Catalano and Alex Waislitz.