‘The State’ Is Not Really The State Anymore July 22, 2007Posted by fitsnews in The Press.
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.