Time Inc. Time-Life News Service Records
Language of Materials
The Time-Life News Service Records documents the management and activities of Time Inc.'s news gathering branch. While the department was formally part of Time magazine for most of its history, it gathered and reported on news for other magazines as well. The collection contains records from the chiefs of correspondents and their office, records from the New York Regional Bureau Chief, financial records, personnel and biographical files assembled on employees of the Time-Life News Service, dispatches and article research material that did not end up in the Time Research Center, and correspondence discussing masthead changes concerning Time-Life News Service staff. Due to overlap of financial management between the Time magazine business office and Time-Life New Service's financial office, financial records include Time budgets as well as financial documents for Time Inc. subsidiaries such as the Washington Star.
According to documents found in the News Service History file within the General File of the Chief of Correspondents Series, Time hired David Hulburd in Fall 1929 to report news from Chicago. Stationed in a room next to the advertising office, Hulburd was tasked with monitoring the Midwest for news that was worth national attention. Every day, Hulburd would send back bundles of clippings to Time's editorial offices in New York, and, if a reporter found a story they were interested in, the reporter would contact the Research Department to follow up with that newspaper or news service for additional details. The Research Department was headed by Mary Fraiser. News agencies contacted included the United Press Association or the Associated Press. If the Research Department received a reply, Fraser would pay the source. To help Time gain more sources of news, Hulburd began traveling the country in 1935 to set up other news offices to gather regional stories. The first office was in San Francisco and the next was in Los Angeles.
Fraser recognized that relying on other news organizations for details and reports was unreliable, and Time did not always receive replies to its queries. Fraser and Hulburd began setting up Time's own domestic and international news bureaus in 1937. In a staff memorandum sent out before his retirement, Hulburd noted that Fraser's encouragement and influence was one of the biggest factors in his decision, as well as the decision of other reporters, to work for Time and put in the effort to build the bureau of correspondents.
Hulburd was in charge of managing the bureaus and offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. For the first few years, the bureaus remained under the Research Department. With the creation of their own news service, Time began to hire correspondents and stringers and relied less upon the United Press Association. Time Inc. still contracted with the Associated Press for their other publications. In 1941, the news service was placed under the authority of Henry Luce as Time's editor. Around this same time, correspondents for other Time Inc. publications began maintaining news desks in the Time news bureau offices beginning with Rachel Albertson from Life.
From 1937 through most of 1945, Hulburd oversaw both the domestic and foreign correspondents. At this point, the size of the bureaus and number of people employed became too cumbersome for one person, and domestic and foreign affairs were separated. The domestic news service remained part of Time, but was overseen by the senior editors. During the time that the domestic news service was part of Time, the department under went a number of name changes. In 1951 it was the Newsbureau, but became the U.S. and Canadian New Service.
The foreign service was moved to Time-Life International, also known as TLI, and was known as the TLI Foreign Desk. The foreign service remained under TLI until around 1954. At this point, the foreign service appears to have been removed from TLI's jurisdiction and became its own department known as the Overseas Bureaus. By 1960, the department's name was changed to the Foreign News Service. During this period, domestic news bureau chiefs were listed as assistant editors at Time in the department heads lists, but foreign news bureau chiefs were not. Materials within the collection imply that foreign news bureau chiefs were staff at Time but they did not seem to receive the same status domestic bureau chiefs.
The foreign and domestic bureaus continued to operate separately until 1962 when they were once again placed under one news chief who also held a position at Time as an assistant editor. Richard Clurman, who had been chief of domestic correspondents, became chief of both foreign and domestic correspondents. At first, the new united system was known as the Time News Service but this name was quickly changed to the Time-Life News Service. Despite only have the names of Time and Life in the title, the chief of bureaus appeared to oversee correspondents and stringers for all of Time Inc.'s magazines. One such organization was the Washington Star which was owned by Time Inc. between 1978 and 1981. During the time that Time Inc. owned the Washington Star, the newspaper operated as a separate organization but did not have any of their own correspondents or stringers. Rather than hiring their own set of correspondents and stringers, the Time-Life News Service provided personnel to work for the Washington Star, and the Washington Star paid the Time-Life News Service for their service. While suppling news for magazines throughout Time Inc., the Time-Life News Service remained part of Time's editorial operations until 1985 when the news service became part of the Magazine Group.
This record group is arranged into six series:
Series I. Chief of Correspondent Files
Series II. New York Regional Bureau Chief and Senior Correspondent Laurence I. Barrett Files
Series III. Financial Files
Series IV. Staff Files
Series V. Dispatches and Article Research Files
Series VI. Masthead Files
Scope and Contents
The Time-Life News Service Records documents the management and activities of Time Inc.'s news gathering branch.
The collection contains records from the chiefs of correspondents and their office, records from the New York Regional Bureau Chief, financial records, personnel and biographical files assembled on employees of the Time-Life News Service, dispatches and article research material that did not end up in the Time Research Center, and correspondence discussing masthead changes concerning Time-Life News Service staff. Due to overlap of financial management between the Time magazine business office and Time-Life New Service's financial office, financial records include Time budgets as well as financial documents for Time Inc. subsidiaries such as the Washington Star.
The staff represented in these documents include Dick Duncan, Murray Gart, Richard Clurman, John Boyle, Emmet Hughes, Manfred Gottfried, Ben Cate, Suzanne Davis, Linda Vartoogian, and Camille Cassata. Records include correspondence, dispatches, staff files, notes, interview and speech transcripts, photographs, news clippings, budgets, expense reports, policies, and employee lists.
Microfilm of extensive correspondent cables containing raw reporting and dispatches are located in Series IV of the Time Inc. Time Research Center Files (MS 3009-RG 13).
Conditions Governing Access
Open to qualified researchers with the exception of restricted materials. Restricted materials may include contracts, medical reports, correspondence with personally identifying information, staff files from 1975 and forward, reviews and recommendations for personnel, job applications with personally identifying information, expense reports with personally identifying information, and forms with direct deposit information. Restricted boxes include R44 through R55. Unreformatted audiovisual and digital material in the collection is not accessible. Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. Although the N-YHS owns this collection as physical property, the donor specifically retains all copyright and all other proprietary rights which may exist. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.
This collection should be cited as Time Inc. Time-Life News Service Records, MS 3009-RG 14, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Time Inc. 2015.
About this Guide
The Time Inc. Time-Life News Service Records were processed by Samantha Brown in 2019. The original folders were retained although some documents were transferred to archival containers in the instances of overcrowding or if no original folders were present. Brown created the inventory and other descriptive notes for the record. Series were created based on the original arrangement of the materials. Within series, materials were arranged in alphabetical order since the original order was unclear. Files retained their original titles, but files with illegible writing or unclear titles were either assigned new titles or had information added to them to clarify the contents.