A surprise is in store for readers of The Mercury – the masthead of the venerable Tasmanian newspaper is about to change. It’s under wraps but Crikey can reveal it will become Mercury instead. Apparently, the definite article is considered old hat and Mercury is thought to have greater resonance.
Not only will the name change but the typeface will as well, in keeping
with editor Garry Bailey’s hands-on interest in the visual presentation
of stories. The Mercury is published by Davies Bros, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of News Ltd.
The Mercury‘s origins lie in an 1840s paper called Guardian bought by John Davies.
He was a Jew, a former convict, son of a convict, and brother of a
bushranger who was executed. Davies, whose origins were later
whitewashed, renamed his paper Hobarton Mercury and the first edition was published on 5 July 1854. On 2 July 1860, the name was changed to The Mercury, which it has been for nigh on 146 years.
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