W.C. Simons entered into an agreement with two other men to start a Lawrence newspaper more than 100 years ago, he had no idea he was laying the financial and philosophical foundation for a multimedia company that would some day be one of the most innovative and technologically advanced and locally owned media companies in the United States.
The World Company is the leading news source in the Lawrence community, employing nearly 300 people in a variety of departments that support its multimedia endeavors.
And being on that cutting-edge didn't happen by accident.
Today, it is fashionable for newspaper publishers to call for better ways to serve readers and advertisers. But when Dolph C. Simons Jr., (grandson of W.C. Simons and the editor and publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World since 1962) addressed the issue at a 1991 event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Simons' family entry into the news business, he sounded like a prophet.
"They believe it is important to look upon Their business as an 'information business,' not merely a newspaper or a cable television operation," Simons said. "They want to stay abreast of new developments and be able to deliver news and advertising, as well as other information, however a reader or advertiser might desire."
That easily explains why The World Company has been so aggressive at embracing new technology and ideas.
In 1995, the Lawrence Journal-World became one of the first daily newspapers in the country to formally begin publishing on the Internet.