The Top 10 Illinois Daily Newspapers by Circulation

The first Illinois newspaper, the Illinois Herald, began publishing all the way back in 1815 and by the time of the U.S. Civil War, there were more than 300 newspapers in the state. During the 1870s that number doubled and, by 1880, there were more than 1,000 newspapers in Illinois.

Updated October 2019

  • 1. The Chicago Sun-Times
    Published by Sun-Times Media Group, the modern incarnation of this newspaper was founded in 1948.
  • 2. The Chicago Tribune
    Founded in 1847, the Chicago Tribune styles itself as “The World’s Greatest Newspaper” and is published by Tribune Publishing.
  • 3. The Journal Star (Peoria)
    Founded in 1855 as the Peoria Daily Transcript and published by Gatehouse Media, the Journal Star serves Peoria and the surrounding area.
  • 4. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights)
    Based in Arlington Heights, a Chicago suburb, the Daily Herald was founded in 1871 as the Cook County Herald. It’s published by the Daily Herald Media Group.
  • 5. The State Journal-Register
    The main newspaper for Springfield, Illinois, it was founded as the Sangamo Journal in 1831 and was an early supporter of Abraham Lincoln in his bid to lead the Republican Party.
  • 6. The Pantagraph
    The Pantagraph serves Bloomington-Normal and several dozen other communities in Central Illinois. It was founded in 1837 and is published by Lee Enterprises.
  • 7. Kankakee Daily Journal
    Founded in 1903, the Daily Journal serves Kankakee County and its surrounding area, including the municipalities of Bourbonnais and Bradley.
  • 8. The News-Gazette
    Serving 11 counties in central-east Illinois, specifically the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area. It’s published by News-Gazette Media.
  • 9. The Southern Illinoisan
    Based in Carbondale and locally known as “The Southern”, it’s published by Lee Enterprises and has been around since 1947.
  • 10. Northwest Herald
    Daily tabloid newspaper serving Crystal Lake, McHenry County, and Kane County. It’s owned by Shaw Media and was founded in 1985.

Newspaper circulations and rankings are determined by Fullintel’s media intelligence analysts in combination with data supplied by LexisNexis.

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