Christopher Perry was the African-American mastermind publisher behind the Philadelphia Tribune, a major US newspaper that blossomed into one of the largest dailies targeted specifically for the African-American market.
It now has a readership of 500,000 and remains one of the strongest selling newspapers in the country thanks in large part to Perry’s insight, business sense, and founding leadership.
Christopher Perry – Finding Opportunity in a Problem
Christopher Perry wasn’t one to take a hit and lie low. The loss of his job proved to be the best thing that ever happened to him.
Perry worked with a major Philadelphia newspaper back in the 1880s as head of the Colored Department, a section dedicated to news for the African-American community. After the newspaper went bankrupt, he lost his job. Yet instead of simply looking for other work, he decided to see if he could actually put up and run a newspaper of his own.
Hence he started the Philadelphia Tribune. Using his experience as a writer-reporter, Perry began the task of building the paper, focusing on timely stories and reporting aimed at the African-American market.
It began as a one-sheet paper published weekly but it was an immense improvement on his previous paper’s Colored Department. Perry succeeded admirably at providing a voice for a community that struggled to have one.
The Philadelphia Tribune came out in 1884 and quickly became the most read black paper in his community.
Praised for its insightful content, many people rallied behind the paper which guaranteed its success. By 1930, the paper boasted more sections and a circulation of around 20,000.
Now, after a century of successful operation, the paper is published 5 times a week and reaches 75% of America’s African-American community, making it the most widely read black paper in the country. All because one man took it upon himself to deliver the news when no one else would.
The Christopher Perry Quick Bio
Full name: Christopher James Perry
Company: Philadelphia Tribune
Industry: Publishing Print Media
Key Success Traits: tenacious, optimistic, hard-working, considerate of others
Perry used the influence of the Philadelphia Tribune in airing concerns that would otherwise have gone unheard. Consequently, his newspaper became even more successful. His foresight and appreciation for the goings on in his community proved to be most valuable.