The story of the Kingsville Publishing Company and the Kingsville Record and Bishop News follows closely the history of Kingsville, both dating from the turn of the century and prospering with the growth of agriculture and industry in South Texas.
The newspaper itself dates back to August 19, 1906, two years after Kingsville was founded, when the first edition of a four page weekly newspaper, Gulf Coast Record, was published.
The newspaper office of the Gulf Coast Record was located in downtown on Kleberg Avenue. Marcus Phillips, one of Kingsville’s earliest mayors who was at one time the editor and manager of the Gulf Coast Record, recalled that in 1911, “there was part of an old plant in the shop, a wooden press, that would not even be used for a proof press in a country shop today, a few handfuls of assorted type, all ‘bastard,’ as printers are pleased to term it, and one small jobber, entirely out-of-date and driven by foot power.”
The Gulf Coast Record changed hands many times in its formative years, ultimately evolving into the Kingsville Publishing Company. A new building was erected on Sixth Street, but on July 1, 1924, just a few days before Kingsville’s 20th birthday celebration, the plant caught fire and within an hour was a total loss. Within a few weeks, new machinery had been purchased and installed in the old meat market building on Fifth Street.
In 1928, Ed Erard, a former Kingsville mayor, was hired as editor and manager of the newspaper, serving in that capacity for 42 years until his death in 1970 at the age of eighty-seven. He lived to see the grand opening of the present Kingsville Publishing Company location in March of 1970.
In 1953, the Kingsville Publishing Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of King Ranch, Inc. In 1964 the publishing company purchased the Bishop News, a smaller weekly newspaper serving the nearby town of Bishop. The names of the two papers were merged as the Kingsville-Bishop Record-News, and the combined newspapers immediately began a semiweekly publication schedule with both Wednesday and Sunday editions. The name was later changed to the current Kingsville Record and Bishop News.
Ever mindful of the impact the newspaper and printing industries have had on the environment, the Kingsville Publishing Company has participated in various recycling programs for almost three decades by recycling used aluminum plates and polyester film, and later by purchasing 100 percent recycled newsprint and soybean-based inks.
The Kingsville Publishing Company continues its active commercial printing department. As printing companies began to specialize, the Kingsville Publishing Company opted in the mid-1970s to concentrate on newsprint web offset printing and designing forms and publications, subcontracting the actual printing of much of its work with specialty printers. Because of this, the Kingsville Publishing Company can now offer a greater variety of printing services than it could years ago — everything from custom engraved printing to bumper stickers and novelty refrigerator magnets.
In addition to the Kingsville Record and Bishop News, the Kingsville Publishing Company also prints several other community newspapers and specialty publications.