It was founded on 1 April 1854 by tailor’s son James Mackay. Initially a monthly publication, it became a weekly four years later. It remained in the Mackay family’s hands until 1983, when it was sold to the Tweeddale Press Group; they merged their 1984 acquisition the Ponteland Observer – an independent hyperlocal weekly – into it in 1986, before selling it to Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers in 1992. (The words “incorporating the Ponteland Observer” still appear in the Herald‘s masthead.)
It’s now published by Northeast Press Ltd, a division of Edinburgh-based Johnston Press, one of the biggest names in regional newspaper publishing in the UK. The editorial offices are in Morpeth.
There’s a companion freesheet, the News Post Leader, whose Wansbeck edition covers part of the Herald‘s circulation area. Since April 2014 it’s shared the Herald‘s editorial offices.
It comes out on Thursdays.