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‘The State’ Is Not Really The State Anymore July 22, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in The Press.
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The State Withdraws

NEWSPAPER’S MARKET RETREAT LEAVES CUSTOMERS IN LIMBO

FITSNews – July 22, 2007 – For three decades, Lancaster County homebuilder Ross Gload would wake up each morning at quarter of six and make the long trek down the driveway to retrieve his copy of The State newspaper.

“It was just me, my coffee and my newspaper before everybody else woke up,” Gload tells FITSNews. “It was my time – when I could relax and catch up with Gamecock sports and all the other college programs the newspaper covered.”

Gload and 200 fellow Lancaster County subscribers to The State are suddenly out of luck, however, as “South Carolina’s newspaper” has pulled out of 17 different counties since coming under the ownership of McClatchy Newspapers. Interestingly, most of the affected counties are found in markets in which McClatchy already owns newspapers (the Beaufort Gazette, Hilton Head Island Packet and Rock Hill Herald, for example), or markets in which McClatchy has acquired newspapers as a result of its purchase of Knight-Ridder Media (Charlotte Observer, Myrtle Beach Sun News).

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now,” Gload says. “They told me it was ‘cost-prohibitive’ to send me my paper since there were so few subscribers up here. Bullsh*t … ‘cost prohibitive’ sounds to me like some guys in a boardroom are pinching pennies and now my daily routine is shot. I’ve never cared for The State‘s politics, but none of these papers up here cover South Carolina sports the way they do.”

Also affected by the corporate maneuverings is The State‘s coastal presence – one market segment we figured the paper would want to maintain (at least during the summer) given the national exposure afforded by the coast’s diverse tourism audience.

Of course, its no longer about what’s good for The State, its about what’s good for McClatchey shareholders.

Which explains why from filling stations in Georgetown all the way up to red dot stores at Cherry Grove Beach just south of the North Carolina border, The State‘s green newspaper racks have disappeared from the South Carolina coast. And while fellow McClatchy paper The Charlotte Observer is still available on newsstands along the Grand Strand, it no longer delivers to coastal S.C. subscribers.

“It’s ridiculous – the same company that owns the Sun News owns The State and the Observer,” one Myrtle Beach resident complained angrily. “You’d think the same damn guy that delivers the Sun News could deliver the State and the Observer, too. I mean, I can get a damn paper from China the next day, you’d think I could get a paper sent 150 miles from Columbia to the beach.”

Of course, we here at FITSNews view The State‘s retreat as a blessing. After all, the fewer people who are exposed to its slanted reporting and leftist editorials, the better off South Carolina will probably be.

But only a handful of people ever read that stuff anyway … most folks were looking for the latest in South Carolina or Clemson sports, or checking up on how their smaller home-state alma maters did on the gridiron that weekend.

Memo to publishers – you’ve got a brand new, wide open market if you’re willing to tap into it.

From the coast to the Upstate, South Carolinians are looking for something to replace The State in their daily routine.

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Comments»

1. Corey - July 22, 2007

It’s been a growing trend nationwide. Print newspapers are in trouble and laser-focused on the bottom line. In Albany, New York the Times Union just paid millions to put its logo on what used to be the Pepsi Arena in order to “expand the brand.” That money should have been spent giving raises to employees– nevermind the idea that the newspaper can no longer ethically cover events and business deals inside the “Times Union arena.”

Rumors also abound that The State is letting go of a lot of jobs in their design department presumably to outsource them to other Mclatchy papers.

How do we attribute all this? Internet, “new media,” blogs like this one.

And you know 80 percent of the readers of this nice story probably thought to themselves, “Tell Ross Gload to turn on his computer and read The State online.” While your routine may feel a little different, Ross, just make sure to not spill coffee on your keyboard.

2. Scott - July 22, 2007

The State was unavailable for delivery in Rock Hill LOOOOONG before McClatchey took over….The “State” indeed…..

3. Will's Love-Hate with The State - July 22, 2007

Will’s curious love/hate obsession with The State is well documented.

It may stem from his first childhood when a rolled up newspaper to his hindquarters was probably something he was very accustomed to. He’s older now, so his punishments come from Courts.

It’s also mysterious why he who claims to support “choice” elects to voluntarily read a paper for which he seems to have contempt. Many feel they see his fingerprints on an idontbelievethestate.com blog. Will has denied involvement claiming it’s run by “…some old guy.”

But, his feigned contempt for The State didn’t prevent him sending a blubbering letter to the editor titled “My Side of the Domestic Violence Story” back when he was first struggling with his stained image.

The State published his sob story and received heat from readers for giving him a forum to defend his actions leading up to a conviction for Criminal Domestic Violence.

Odd that he needed them then, but he has such contempt for them now. We wonder if they would print a letter from him now. Probably.

So, McClatchy is adjusting its business to market conditions, and that seems to be news to Will. It’s the same market forces that would drive private schools to reduce services or close if they didn’t make margin. Just another reason vouchers are a scam.

Watch out for The State. By continuing to present views and opinions that Will and other crackpots don’t agree with The State exposes us to real progress. Who knows, the Legislature might someday really fix education for all children. Vouchers won’t help – they’re a scam.

Check the link for the latest editorial that’s making Will foam at the mouth. http://www.thestate.com/opinion/story/125409.html

4. Wilson - July 22, 2007

Hey…

Has anyone seen the sincere, heartfelt apology written by Cindy Ross Scoppe? You know, the one to Richard Eckstrom concerning her false claim that he broke the ethics law concerning his mini-van trip…

Oh, thats right…she did not write it.

She oughta be Bitch- slapped.

5. Newspaper Hack - July 22, 2007

That’s right – journalists aren’t professionals, just activists putting forth agendas.

God, what a load of shit.

Also, you missed the entire point while trying to make one of your own. This makes sense from a business point of view. Why should two or three McClatchy publications fight over the same advertising dollars? It doesn’t make sense.

You would think that a conservative, of all people, could figure that one out.

6. James Tillman - July 22, 2007

Much like , “Video Killed the Radio Stars”, the net is killing newspapers. Good job bloggers! Save the trees, and democracy.

7. Rolled Up Newspaper - July 23, 2007

Will’s curious love/hate obsession with The State is well documented.

It may stem from his first childhood when a rolled up newspaper to his hindquarters was probably something he was very accustomed to. He’s older now, so his punishments come from Courts.

It’s also mysterious why he who claims to support “choice” elects to voluntarily read a paper for which he seems to have contempt. Many feel they see his fingerprints on an idontbelievethestate.com blog. Will has denied involvement claiming it’s run by “…some old guy.”

But, his feigned contempt for The State didn’t prevent him sending a blubbering letter to the editor titled “My Side of the Domestic Violence Story” back when he was first struggling with his stained image.

The State published his sob story and received heat from readers for giving him a forum to defend his actions leading up to a conviction for Criminal Domestic Violence.

Odd that he needed them then, but he has such contempt for them now. We wonder if they would print a letter from him now. Probably.

So, McClatchy is adjusting its business to market conditions, and that seems to be news to Will. It’s the same market forces that would drive private schools to reduce services or close if they didn’t make margin. Just another reason vouchers are a scam.

Watch out for The State. By continuing to present views and opinions that Will and other crackpots don’t agree with The State exposes us to real progress. Who knows, the Legislature might someday really fix education for all children. Vouchers won’t help – they’re a scam.

Check the link for the latest editorial that’s making Will foam at the mouth. http://www.thestate.com/opinion/story/125409.html

8. Reefer - July 23, 2007

Maybe they should try using toilet paper instead? It’s softer and flushes easier.

9. FITSNews - July 23, 2007

Chernoff,

You guys continue to crack us up. Keep it comin’ …

-FITSNews

10. Palmetto Observer - July 23, 2007

Sadly, while vacationing in Pawley’s I could pick up the Charlotte Observer and read all about the Bobcats and Tarheels (as if I care) as well as the The Sun News so I could read about the Chanticleers and pro sports. “The State” should go back to being called the Columbia Record or the The Columbia Post or Courier…it is NO longer the state and those of us interested in keeping up with the metro or Gamecock sports are SOL…and BTW, I want to read the paper on vacation…last thing I wanna do is check email and read a paper on line…i take vacation to get away from that.

11. Reefer - July 23, 2007

oh, one more thing, rolling paper works better for my hits than The State ever could.

12. Rob W. - July 23, 2007

Newspaper hack is right- not making this move would be the morally wrong thing to do for these managers. If they aren’t making every cent they can for the people who are paying them, they’re shirking the job.

An interesting question- how would a free market capitalist phenomenon like this translate into education (specifically vouchers)? One could imagine that a move like this would still allow for more choice than if no vouchers were issued, but at the end of the day the principals (or at least the managers) have a higher obligation to maximize return for the shareholders than they do to provide the best education for the kids. What would happen if those two goals conflict?

Just needed to make sure there was a school choice conversation on here today.

13. huh? - July 23, 2007

Exactly what to you mean that Chernoff “cracks” you up?

14. upstater - July 23, 2007

Will and other free market lovers….isn’t this just the free market doing its thing? Isn’t this big business playing things out in the logic of for-profit business?

What I guess might be interesting is that here’s a case of a for-profit business deciding NOT to serve potential customers because it isn’t what the free market seems to be dictating. Does this say anything about unbridled faith in the free market to provide a strong education for our poorest and most academically challenged (and, often, challenging to teach) children?

15. Yea - July 24, 2007

Yea, upstater, you’re right. Vouchers stink!

16. Don Johnson - July 25, 2007

Well, this is definitely the trend. Heck, The Greenville News barely covers Greenville County anymore. It used to be possible to find a copy of it at the beach, too (which on any given weekend in the summer, about 1/3 of its readers are drinking their morning coffee anyway).

But come on everyone! This isn’t news. Newspapers haven’t had the news as their top concern for 10 years. It’s all about finding the Holy Grail of the 25% profit margin — an amount any other business would DIE for. Maybe if they cut it to a reasonable amount they could make a ton of money AND cover the news. I don’t know. Just a thought.


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