The company was formed as "Yorkshire Conservative Newspaper Company Limited" in 1865, and published the Leeds Intelligencer (founded 1754) for one year before it was renamed the Yorkshire Post. The company acquired the Leeds Mercury in 1923 and merged it with the Yorkshire Post in 1939. The company was renamed "Yorkshire Post Newspapers" in 1969.
The first chairman was William Beckett-Denison, from a Leeds banking family (Beckett's Bank was founded in 1774 and acquired by Westminster Bank in 1921). Successive chairmen were members of the Beckett family until the retirement of Rupert Beckett in 1950.