The Top 10 Kentucky Daily Newspapers by Circulation

Kentucky’s first-ever newspaper (and first in the U.S. west of the Allegheny Mountains) was founded in 1787 as the Kentucke Gazette and still publishes every other Wednesday. It changed its name to “Kentucky Gazette” a few years after it was founded.

Updated February 2020


  • 1. The Courier-Journal
    Alternatively known as the “Louisville Courier-Journal”, “C-J” and “The Courier”, this newspaper is published by Gannett as part of its USA Today Network and was founded in 1868.
  • 2. Lexington Herald-Leader
    Founded in 1870 and published by The McClatchy Co., the Herald-Leader is the result of a 1983 merger between the Lexington Herald and Lexington Leader.
  • 3. Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer
    Serving Owensboro and five counties in western Kentucky, the Messenger-Inquirier was founded in 1875.
  • 4. The Daily Independent (Ashland)
    Published in Ashland and also known as The Independent Weekend Edition, the Daily Independent publishes seven days a week and serves Ashland and Boyd County.
  • 5. Bowling Green Daily News
    Founded in 1854 as the Bowling Green Democrat, the Daily News publishes on Saturday and Sunday mornings and in the evenings on weekdays.
  • 6. The Paducah Sun
    Formerly known as the Paducah Sun-Democrat, the Sun serves Kentucky’s Jackson Purchase region and is the area’s only daily.
  • 7. Elizabethtown News-Enterprise
    The News-Enterprise was first published in 1869 as The Elizabethtown News. It became the News-Enterprise after a 1974 merger.
  • 8. Kentucky New Era
    Founded in 1869 as the Weekly Kentucky New Era, the New Era is published in Hopkinsville.
  • 9. The Advocate-Messenger
    Published Tuesday through Sunday in Danville, the Advocate-Messenger serves Boyle, Lincoln, Casey, Mercer, and Garrard counties.
  • 10. Commonwealth Journal
    Publishes six days a week (Monday-Saturday) in Somerset. Covers Pulaski County and owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.

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

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